Airbus has opened a new research center in Suzhou, Jiangsu province, focusing on the development of hydrogen-powered aircraft. The center will leverage the region’s skilled aviation and hydrogen technologies, as well as the strong aeronautical and hydrogen supply chain, to research areas including hydrogen infrastructure, manufacturing innovation, and cabin experience. The center will also advance the aviation industry’s transformation and modernisation through artificial intelligence and digitalisation.
Airbus aims to attract top talent and develop the aerospace industry in the region. Chinese employees make up the majority of the workforce at the Suzhou research center. Sabine Klauke, chief technical officer of Airbus, said the company was working with partners in China to develop various technologies, introduce alternative fuels, and develop the hydrogen ecosystem, adding that China offers advanced technological advantages in many fields.
The opening of the new facility reinforces Airbus’ commitment to long-term development and investment in China, its largest global market. The company signed agreements with Chinese partners in April to increase the Airbus A320 Family final assembly capacity with a second assembly line in Tianjin.
Airbus also signed an agreement with China National Aviation Fuel Group in April to strengthen Chinese-European cooperation on the production of sustainable aviation fuels. The agreement aims to diversify sources and enhance sustainable aviation fuel production to reach a target of 10% global use by 2030. By 2035, Airbus aims to launch the world’s first zero-emission commercial aircraft, consistent with China’s goals to peak its carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.