Japan Airlines announces MoU with Universal Hydrogen


Universal Hydrogen has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Japan Airlines (JAL) and its engineering subsidiary, JAL Engineering. 

The agreement will see the firms explore the roll out of hydrogen-powered regional flights in Japan and is the second deal of this nature announced this week by JAL after an MoU with ZeroAvia. The MoU will see JAL and JALEC provide further input on the technical design and development of Universal’s conversion kits and the overall hydrogen value chain in Japan.

Rod Williams, chief commercial officer of Universal Hydrogen said: “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 honoured to be amongst those selected. 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.”

Universal Hydrogen is also doing work alongside Sojitz and Mitsubishi HC Capital. Collectively, the parties have spent the last several months studying green hydrogen supply and logistics solutions for Japanese airlines to scale their utilisation of hydrogen-powered aircraft in the very near-term. 

Paul Eremenko, co-founder and CEO of Universal Hydrogen said: “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.

“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 decarbonising our industry,” added Eremenko.

Ryo Tamura, president, JAL Engineering said: “JAL and JALEC share Universal Hydrogen’s goal to make hydrogen-powered flight a reality in Japan. 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.”