The decarbonisation of the aviation industry is a key focus for us at Airbus, and rightly so - but there are other types of non-CO2 emissions that are produced during flight that we are also working hard to mitigate. 

These include nitrogen oxides (NOx), contrails, noise, sulphur and soot aerosols, amongst others.


Our actions

Airbus is taking the lead on a variety of projects funded by the European Union to explore ways of reducing or eliminating non-CO2 emissions.

As part of the SESAR Joint Undertaking, Airbus is working with partners from different sectors in Europe to better understand the climate impact of these emissions and develop operational solutions to mitigate them.

Read on to discover more about some of the projects we are involved in.


Airbus’ most popular aircraft takes to the skies with 100% sustainable aviation fuel


This A321neo is the first Airbus single-aisle aircraft to test 100% SAF on both engines

The VOLCAN flight test study is a partnership between Airbus, Safran and Dassault Aviation, alongside the ONERA aeronautics research laboratory and the French Ministry of Transport. In 2023, an A321neo was flown on 100% SAF with a ‘chase aircraft’ following within 100 metres to capture emissions data for detailed analysis.



The ECLIF3 study, involving Airbus, Rolls-Royce, German research centre DLR and SAF producer Neste, marked the first time 100% SAF has been measured simultaneously on both engines of a commercial passenger aircraft. The study compared the in-flight emissions of kerosene (jet fuel) and Neste’s hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA) sustainable fuel.  

Blue Condor

This modified glider is on a mission to demystify hydrogen contrails

This demonstrator is taking a modified glider up to 33,000 feet – an extreme altitude for an aircraft that normally cruises below 10,000 feet – to analyse the impact of hydrogen combustion on contrail properties. The result of this analysis will provide critical information on aviation’s non-CO2 emissions, including contrails and NOx, in advance of Airbus’ hydrogen-powered ZEROe demonstrator flight testing.


This project pairs Airbus with three partners, NATS, Météo-France and DLR, to assess the impact that atmospheric conditions have on non-CO2 emissions, including contrails. The project includes the delivery of operational mitigation concepts to reduce aircraft emissions, accounting for different fuel and engine types.