Universal Hydrogen partners with Japan Airlines to introduce hydrogen-powered flights in Japan, advancing zero-carbon emissions in aviation and regional fleet sustainability.
Following the announcement in March 2023 of Universal Hydrogen’s collaboration in Japan to study green hydrogen supply and logistics solutions for Japanese airlines, the company announced it has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) and JAL Engineering Co., Ltd. (JALEC) to bring hydrogen-powered flight to Japan and establish JAL’s position as a global leader in operating true zero-carbon-emissions passenger aircraft.
“JAL and JALEC have completed one of the most rigorous evaluation processes we’ve seen to date to determine its sustainability partners and Universal Hydrogen is honored to be amongst those selected,” said Rod Williams, Chief Commercial Officer of Universal Hydrogen. “JAL joins other major global airlines to be interested in Universal Hydrogen’s ATR retrofit conversion kit solution to replace their regional fleet, and combined with our hydrogen ecosystem collaborations, we are bringing a complete solution to the JAL regional network.”
The MoU further sees both JAL and JALEC provide their input on the technical design and development of the conversion kits and the overall hydrogen value chain in Japan. JAL will be able to promote the specifics of its regional operation with a strong focus on reliability and maintainability. This input complements the work Universal Hydrogen is doing alongside investors Sojitz and Mitsubishi HC Capital Inc.. Collectively, the parties have spent the last several months studying green hydrogen supply and logistics solutions for Japanese airlines to scale their utilization of hydrogen-powered aircraft in the very near term. This is being done by identifying, evaluating, and qualifying local hydrogen suppliers and partners for hydrogen production, hydrogen module filling, module delivery operations, and more.
“Japan has long shown that it is a market with an incredibly strong appetite for green aviation solutions and is home to JAL, one of the most established airlines in the world. As a partner, JAL is impressively demanding on the technical side; their operation is one of the most reliable in the world,” said Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen. “I’m proud that in just a few years Universal Hydrogen has been able to earn JAL’s respect to enter the Japanese market even at our relatively early stage of development, which is a testament to our team’s technical excellence. The team we put together to build out the hydrogen value chain in Japan, coupled with customer demand makes Japan a clear leader on decarbonizing our industry.”
“JAL and JALEC share Universal Hydrogen’s goal to make hydrogen-powered flight a reality in Japan,” said Ryo Tamura, President, JAL Engineering Co., Ltd. “Through this first step in our partnership, with the advanced and innovative technology of Universal Hydrogen, JAL and JALEC both lead and contribute to safe and sustainable aviation in Japan.”