July 14, 2024

Airbus to Launch New Low-Carbon Ocean Fleet with Flettner Rotors

Airbus, the renowned aerospace giant, is taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint by replacing its charter fleet for transporting components across the ocean with more sustainable and efficient ships. Starting in 2026, Airbus plans to lease three new low-emission roll-on/roll-off ships from shipowner Louis Dreyfus Armateurs, which will own and operate the vessels.

The new ships will feature six Flettner rotors, which are large rotating cylinders that act like airfoils and utilize wind power to generate thrust and propel the ships. These streamlined vessels will also incorporate two dual-fuel engines running on maritime diesel oil and e-methanol. Additionally, routing software will be utilized to optimize the ships’ routes, taking advantage of prevailing winds and currents for maximum efficiency.

Each ship will have the capacity to carry seventy 40-ft containers and six single-aisle aircraft subassembly sets, an increase from the current fleet’s maximum of four sets. This upgrade is a response to the expected increase in A320 production to 75 aircraft per month by 2026.

According to Airbus, these new technologies are projected to reduce carbon emissions from 68,000 to 33,000 tonnes by 2030, marking a significant step towards reducing their environmental impact. Airbus intends to lead the way in decarbonizing the aviation sector by implementing innovative solutions across all their industrial operations.

Nicolas Chr├ętien, Head of Sustainability & Environment at Airbus, stated that the renewal of their marine fleet is a crucial move towards reducing their environmental impact. The proposed vessels are more fuel-efficient, utilizing cutting-edge technologies like wind-assisted propulsion. This showcases their commitment to innovation, not only in aviation but also in all their industrial practices.

By incorporating Flettner rotors and optimizing their ships’ routes, Airbus aims to improve the efficiency and sustainability of their ocean transport. This initiative demonstrates the company’s dedication to reducing carbon emissions and taking proactive measures towards a greener future in the aviation industry.


  1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
  2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it