EasyJet and Airbus have signed a memorandum of understanding to jointly assess the potential of hybrid- and full-electric aircraft for short-haul flights across Europe.
The research project's aim is to define what is needed for "large-scale introduction" of electric aircraft and how that would impact "infrastructure and everyday commercial aircraft operations", EasyJet indicates.
Chief executive Johan Lundgren states that by identifying the "detailed technical challenges and requirements" of operating hybrid- and full-electric aircraft, the budget carrier can "help shape the technology and airline networks of the future".
He adds: "We hope this will be an important step towards making hybrid electric planes a reality.”
EasyJet had earlier today disclosed plans to offset carbon emissions across its entire network, with immediate effect.
Airbus chief executive Guillaume Faury states that improving the environmental performance of the airframer's products is a "top-level priority".
He asserts that the manufacturer is "playing a leading role, alongside our customers, in the development of clean and safe technologies for the sustainable future of our industry".
In 2017, EasyJet disclosed a partnership with US start-up Wright Electric, which is working on an all-electric short-haul airliner.
Test flights of a nine-seat aircraft are set to begin in the "coming weeks", EasyJet says.
It notes that the collaboration with Wright Electric will continue alongside the research project with Airbus.