Joby Aviation is working with JetBlue Airways and Signature Flight Support to forge a new path toward net-zero emissions in the aviation industry, which will incentivise the rapid commercialisation of clean propulsion systems.

The three companies are working together to ensure the carbon markets for aviation include the generation of credits for flights powered by green electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies, effectively connecting today’s airlines and operators to the development of sustainable solutions.

They will work to define the framework for the creation, validation and eventual use of these new credits on aviation carbon markets, including identifying a third party to oversee and validate transactions. The companies expect to confirm further details of the structure later this year.

JoeBen Bevirt, founder and CEO of Joby Aviation, said: “With JetBlue and Signature, we’re opening up an entirely new path for the aviation industry to more quickly move to sustainable energy sources. We invite additional partners to join us and hope these agreements will be the first of many that link today’s air travel to the clean future of flight.”

The aviation industry accounts for just three percent of global greenhouse gas emissions, but is proving one of the most difficult sectors to decarbonise. The maturity of electric and hydrogen propulsion technologies will bolster efforts already underway to use sustainable fuels and out-of-sector investments to reduce the sector’s net emissions.

Credits are generated by the reduction in emissions achieved by electric- or hydrogen-powered commercial flights in comparison to flights powered by an energy-equivalent amount of conventional jet fuel.

Operators such as Joby will conduct an analysis of aircraft energy usage, measure emissions based on the source of the power used by the aircraft and generate credits commensurate with the emissions reduction achieved.

In 2020, JetBlue became the first U.S. airline to achieve carbon neutrality for all of its domestic flights through the purchase of carbon offsets from solar, wind and forestry projects all across the globe. JetBlue continues to invest in Joby’s success through its venture capital subsidiary, JetBlue Technology Ventures.

Sara Bogdan, Head of Sustainability and Environmental Social Governance at JetBlue., said: “This partnership allows JetBlue to not only continue to fulfil our domestic carbon neutrality commitment, but also evolve the type of offsets we purchase and help support the development of electric and hydrogen aviation — critical levers for meeting the U.S. aviation industry’s net-zero goals.”

And also this year, Signature set ambitious carbon reduction targets and was one of the world’s largest purchasers of SAF. The company has invested heavily in eco-friendly facility design, construction, and operations in the last five years.

Tony Lefebvre, CEO at Signature Flight Support, added: “Signature has long been the leader in moving the business aviation community towards a sustainable future,” said Tony Lefebvre, CEO at Signature Flight Support.

“Today, we offer our customers the option to offset emissions at airports where SAF isn’t readily available with a book-and-claim model. We’re excited to expand that model through this partnership to include the purchase of electric aviation credits from clean operators like Joby — all while supporting the innovative spirit that brings us closer every day to making flight sustainable for everyone.”

Joby is developing an electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft that will quietly transport a pilot and four passengers up to 150 miles while producing zero operating emissions.

The company’s aerial ride-sharing service, which Joby intends to launch in 2024, will enable revolutionary ways for people to move in and around cities while reducing ground traffic congestion and carbon emissions.