Japan Airlines Partners With Three Companies for Hydrogen-Electric Flight Development

By November 18, 2023 3   min read  (463 words)

November 18, 2023 |

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Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) has recently entered into agreements with three hydrogen-electric aircraft/engine manufacturers, H2FLY GmbH, Universal Hydrogen Co., and ZeroAvia Inc. This collaboration aims to explore the safety, economic feasibility, and maintainability of introducing sustainable hydrogen-fueled next-generation aircraft, which are expected to emit zero CO2 during flight and offer a viable solution for future sustainable aviation. JAL Engineering Co., Ltd. (JALEC), responsible for JAL Group’s aircraft maintenance, will coordinate on certifications and maintenance systems.

As part of its commitment to achieving Net Zero CO2 Emissions by 2050, the JAL Group is conducting comprehensive studies for the future integration of new technologies like hydrogen and electric aircraft. The partnering companies are global leaders in the development of hydrogen-electric flights, having already conducted hydrogen-fueled test flights and planning to launch hydrogen-electric aircraft between the mid-2020s and 2030s.

JAL plans to engage closely with these companies, each offering distinct technologies, to contribute to the realization of zero-emission commercial flights. This partnership will leverage JAL’s operational expertise as a Japanese airline to hasten the societal implementation of hydrogen aviation in Japan, focusing on safe, comfortable, and sustainable future aviation.


Partnership Highlights:

  • Studying the latest hydrogen-electric aircraft technology in terms of safety, economic viability, and maintainability for operations in Japan.
  • Incorporating JAL’s insights into the design and specifications of hydrogen-electric aircraft.
  • Raising public awareness about hydrogen-electric aircraft in Japan.

About the Partners

  • H2FLY GmbH, founded by engineers from the German Aerospace Center and the University of Ulm, aims to market the first qualified, fully hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain. H2FLY’s HY4, the world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft, debuted in 2016, showcasing the potential of this technology. The company is working on technology development and commercialization with support from German and European partnerships, expecting to transport 40 passengers over distances up to 2,000 kilometers in a few years. For more information, visit
  • Universal Hydrogen Co. is focused on making hydrogen-powered commercial flight a reality soon. The company transports hydrogen in modular capsules from green production sites directly to airplanes worldwide. It targets regional and narrowbody aircraft for immediate decarbonization impact and is developing a powertrain conversion kit to retrofit existing regional aircraft for hydrogen flight. Learn more at
  • ZeroAvia Inc. specializes in zero-emission aviation, centering on hydrogen-electric aviation as the best solution for the industry’s climate impact. The company is developing engines for a 300-mile range in 9-19 seat aircraft by 2025, expanding to a 700-mile range in 40-80 seat aircraft by 2027. With key partnerships, experimental certificates from aviation authorities, and nearly 2,000 engine pre-orders, ZeroAvia is a part of the UK Government’s Jet Zero Council. Visit for more information.

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