The European Investment Bank (EIB) has extended Safran a €500 million credit line to finance its research into alternative propulsion systems for the next generation of single-aisle commercial airplanes. Calling itself a “climate bank,” the EIB said the loan agreement underscores its recent shift in focus toward supporting efforts involving a decarbonized and environmentally friendly economy.

Carried out primarily by Safran, the project aims for a drastic reduction in fuel consumption by the next generation of single-aisle commercial airplanes to meet the EU’s objective of achieving carbon-neutral flights by 2050. The project centers on four main goals: maximize propulsion efficiency, optimize energy management, develop new technologies, and integrate those technologies into aircraft, allowing them to fly using only alternative fuels. The EIB will make the credit line available until September 2022. It would carry a maturity date of up to 10 years. The bank has served as a long-standing partner with Safran and had already provided €300 million in 2009 to help finance the development of the CFM Leap engine.

“The funding arrangement set up with the EIB will make a decisive contribution to Safran’s research into carbon-free aviation,” noted Safran CFO Bernard Delpit. “The disruptive technologies developed by these projects should make a significant contribution to meeting our goal of carbon-neutrality.”

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