Airbus set to renew its transatlantic fleet

The low-emission vessels will enter service by 2026.

Cat Vitale October 30 2023

French aircraft manufacturer Airbus has announced the renewal of its entire fleet of charter vessels with three modern low-emission vessels.

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs will own and produce the low-emission vessels, which are expected to enter service by 2026.

The fleet transports Airbus aircraft parts across the Atlantic, from Saint Nazaire, France and its single-aisle aircraft assembly line in Alabama.

The fleet renewal will support Airbus’ aim of increasing the A320 family production rate to 75 aircraft per month by 2026. Airbus stated that each new vessel will transport up to 70 containers, six single-aisle aircraft sub-assembly sets, wings, fuselage, engine pylons and horizontal and vertical tailplanes.

The new vessels will reduce the average transatlantic CO₂ emissions from 68,000t to 33,000t by 2030.

Nicolas Chrétien, head of sustainability and environment at Airbus, emphasised the capabilities of the vessels: “The renewal of our marine fleet is a major step forward in reducing our environmental impact.”

“The latest generation of vessels proposed by Louis Dreyfus Armateurs are more fuel efficient than their predecessors, using cutting-edge technologies like wind-assisted propulsion. This demonstrates our determination to lead the way in decarbonising our sector by innovating not just in aviation but across all our industrial operations.”

The new vessels will be powered by wind-assisted propulsion, carrying six Flettnor rotors that will generate forward momentum. Alongside this, the vessels will feature two dual-fuel engines running on maritime diesel and e-methanol.

Louis Dreyfus Armateurs president Edouard Louis-Dreyfus added: “We are very pleased to have been selected by Airbus to develop this state-of-the-art and low-emission fleet and to continue our longstanding partnership.

“This new project, setting high targets, reflects our ambition regarding the decarbonisation of the shipping industry. We are proud to support our customers in their energy transition, going even beyond their expectations by offering innovative solutions and sustainably driving change.”

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