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Delta Air Lines posted a $1.2 billion profit for the third quarter on Wednesday, helped by the latest installment of federal pandemic aid for the airline industry, but warned that rising fuel prices will lead to a “modest” loss in the fourth quarter.
Delta Air Lines is reporting a $1.2 billion profit for the third quarter, thanks in large part to federal aid to help the industry get through the pandemic
With the short time frame (a bit over two years to three years) and the small capacity it seems like a demonstration more than anything meaningful.
Hydrogen does have some serious advantages (in addition to what is probably the motivation, the fact that perfect burning of Hydrogen doesn't emit CO2). Its abundant in the universe, and in compounds (for example water) its abundant on Earth. It also has a lot of energy per weight.
But its difficult to handle and transport. Its density is very low. Store it as a gas and you need huge tanks. Store it as a liquid and it still needs tanks over three times as large as jet fuel or gasoline or diesel, and you also have to store it at more than 423 degrees below zero (or slightly higher with some pressure but still a cryogenic temperatures). Its escapes easily from containment so you lose some of it why you store it (even stored for use in the tank of a vehicle that's burning it) or transporting it. And when it escapes it can (depending on how its stored) cause en.wikipedia.org, or under some conditions en.wikipedia.org
Its low molecular and atomic weight and high energy to weight ratios do make it a good fuel for spacecraft (or it can be reaction mass for spacecraft that don't rely on burning it), and it has some other niche applications, but I don't think it will have any wide spread transportation use any time soon (spacecraft being a small enough proportion of transportation to not count as "wide spread").
Its use doesn't even necessarily reduce CO2 emissions because currently most hydrogen is generated from fossil fuels.
You forgot to add that hydrogen has been tried on flights before, some 85 years ago. You wouldn't have to show this video to a person getting on a commercial flight more than once to allow many to change their minds, rightly or wrongly.
Hydrogen isn't necessarily more dangerous than other fuels. The issue with that accident was that the majority of the volume of the vehicle was fuel. Which isn't normally the case (except maybe with rockets, or with tankers transporting fuel).
And it wasn't even fuel they would burn to propel the airship forward. The Hindenburg had 4 diesel engines, which may have even been the cause of the fire (directly, or through their fuel being the source). There are other theories, such as static buildup, a lightning strike, or even sabotage.
I guess even if its just fuel (and not a lifting gas) the large storage space needed for hydrogen gas might reduce safety, it might be harder to properly isolate a very large tank from static or other threats. If your using liquid hydrogen then you have the possibility of failure of the cooling method for your cryogenic storage (although the tank would still be highly insulated, you wouldn't get a sudden shift to all gas, you would just have to vent some of the gas as it develops to avoid over-pressure)
OTOH hydrogen also has some safety advantages. Its lightness means it flows away in to the sky as it burns which usually causes less damage to things around it. It also normally produces a lot less harmful gases and smoke around the fire then conventional fuels (a perfect hydrogen/oxygen fire would just produce steam, so it would "no harmful gasses and smoke" but in the real world you have other objects and gasses around to burn).
Here is a video with some tests
Experimental Investigation of Liquid Hydrogen Hazards, 1960, Film Number 1
The distance between Rotterdam and London, the two cities involved in the project, is about 100 miles. Even if hydrogen requires comparatively large storage tanks, the short distance makes hydrogen powered fuel cells practical, though probably at greater cost than, for example, a jet prop aircraft with some 19 passengers.