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JAL Signs Key Agreements for Hydrogen Flight

Japan Airlines Signs Agreements with Hydrogen-Electric Aircraft Manufacturers for Sustainable Future Aviation

Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) has taken a significant step toward creating a safe, comfortable, and sustainable aviation future. It has signed agreements with three hydrogen-electric aircraft/engine manufacturers. The manufacturers, H2FLY GmbH, Universal Hydrogen Co., and ZeroAvia Inc., will collaborate with JAL on joint studies to introduce hydrogen-powered flights to Japan.

JAL Hydrogen flight partners H2FLY, Universal Hydrogen, ZeroAvia
JAL Hydrogen flight partners H2FLY, Universal Hydrogen, ZeroAvia

To achieve Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050, the JAL Group explores the possibilities of new technologies. They include hydrogen and electric aircraft. The companies in the collaboration have already had successful test flights with hydrogen-fueled aircraft. They plan to launch hydrogen-electric commercial flights by the mid-2020s to 2030s.

JAL’s partnerships with H2FLY, Universal Hydrogen, and ZeroAvia will focus on studying hydrogen-electric aircraft’s latest technology and safety. JAL will help optimize the design and specifications of these sustainable aircraft, adding its expertise and insights as an airline. Additionally, the partners aim to raise public awareness about the future applications of hydrogen-electric aviation in Japan.

Let’s take a closer look at each of the companies:


A team of engineers from the German Aerospace Center and the University of Ulm founded H2FLY GmbH. They are pioneers in developing hydrogen-electric propulsion systems for aircraft. H2FLY aims to deliver the first qualified, fully hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain for emission-free air travel. The company has a strong network of industry and research partners. Its HY4 model, the world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft, completed its maiden flight in 2016. H2FLY’s technology would allow hydrogen-electric aircraft to transport up to 40 passengers over distances of up to 2,000 kilometers.

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Universal Hydrogen Co.

Universal Hydrogen aims to make hydrogen-powered commercial flights a reality soon. They have developed a flexible and scalable approach to hydrogen logistics. They use modular capsules to transport hydrogen over the freight network. This allows for easy and efficient distribution of hydrogen to airplanes worldwide. Universal Hydrogen focuses on regional and narrowbody/single-aisle aircraft as the initial targets for decarbonization. They are also working to certify a powertrain conversion kit to retrofit existing regional aircraft for hydrogen-fueled operations.

To learn more, please visit

ZeroAvia Inc.

ZeroAvia is a leading company in zero-emission aviation. It sees hydrogen-electric aviation as the ideal solution for reducing the industry’s climate impact. The company will develop engines 9–19 seat aircraft offering a range of 300 miles for by the end of 2025. It will further develop engines for 40–80 seat aircraft offering a range of up to 700 miles by 2027. The company has already achieved significant milestones, including experimental certificates for its prototype aircraft from the CAA and FAA. ZeroAvia has also secured partnerships with major aircraft OEMs. Importantly, the company has received engine pre-orders for nearly 2,000 units from global airlines. The company projects a future revenue potential of over $10 billion. The company has the support of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council.

For more information, visit

Through these partnerships, Japan Airlines will collaborate extensively with H2FLY, Universal Hydrogen, and ZeroAvia. Each company brings its unique characteristics to the table. Together, they aim to accelerate the implementation of hydrogen-electric aviation in Japan. By realizing zero-emission commercial flights, JAL and its partners strive to create a safe, comfortable, and sustainable aviation future.

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