H2FLY and Japan Airlines Partner to Bring Sustainable Hydrogen Aviation to Japan

  • H2FLY, Japan Airlines and JAL Engineering have signed an agreement to explore the feasibility of using H2FLY’s hydrogen electric power units as a power source for Japan Airlines flights
  • The partnership will begin with a joint study that will assess the operational requirements necessary to support a hydrogen-powered fixed-wing aircraft

Stuttgart/Tokyo, November 16,  2023 – H2FLY, the Stuttgart, Germany-based developer of hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) and JAL Engineering Co., Ltd. (JALEC) today announced they have signed an agreement to research and evaluate the feasibility of hydrogen-electric aviation in Japan. The agreement comes two months after H2FLY completed the world’s first piloted flight of liquid hydrogen-powered electric aircraft.

In the coming months, the parties will collaborate on a study that explores the efficacy of hydrogen-powered fixed-wing aircraft in accordance with JAL’s commitment to reducing emissions from commercial flights. The study will evaluate the powertrain requirements needed for varying distances of flights and aircraft size, as well as technical specifications according to JAL’s commercial operations. H2FLY will subsequently test and validate the findings of the study.

CEO and co-founder of H2FLY, Professor Josef Kallo said: “At H2FLY, we have dedicated the past decade to making significant advancements in the development of our hydrogen technology for aircraft. We are honored to be collaborating with Japan Airlines who are leading the way in securing a sustainable future for the aviation industry.”

President of JALEC, Ryo Tamura said: “We highly admire the outstanding technology of H2FLY. Through this partnership, we’re moving forward to the realization of hydrogen-powered flight in Japan. Our collaboration lets us lead and contribute to safe and sustainable aviation in Japan.”

H2FLY continues to lead the way in hydrogen-electric powertrain systems for aircraft, building and testing six generations of powertrains to date. In September 2023 H2FLY successfully completed the world’s first piloted flight of an electric aircraft powered by liquid hydrogen. The series of flights were completed with H2FLY’s piloted HY4 demonstrator aircraft, fitted with a hydrogen-electric fuel cell propulsion system and a liquid hydrogen tank system, doubling the maximum range of the HY4 aircraft from 750 km to 1,500 km. The campaign was the culmination of Project HEAVEN, a European-government-supported consortium, led by H2FLY.

About H2FLY

H2FLY was founded by five engineers from the German Aerospace Center in Stuttgart and the University of Ulm, H2FLY GmbH is working to deliver to market the first qualified, fully hydrogen-electric aircraft powertrain. By bringing hydrogen fuel cell technology to the next level, H2FLY plans to unlock the era of emission-free, sustainable air travel. The company develops hydrogen-electric propulsion systems for aircraft and is a global leader in the development and testing of such systems. The HY4, designed to be the world’s first hydrogen-electric passenger aircraft, first took off in 2016, demonstrating both the feasibility and potential of this technology for the aviation of the future. H2FLY has a powerful network of partners in industry and science and is currently working to accelerate its technology development and commercialization with the support of German and European partnerships. In just a few years, hydrogen-electric aircraft are expected to be able to transport 40 passengers over distances of up to 2,000 kilometres (1,240 miles).

H2FLY was acquired in 2021 by Joby Aviation, a California-based company developing electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft for commercial passenger service.

For more information, please visit: www.h2fly.de


About Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL)

Japan Airlines (JAL), Japan’s first private aviation company, was established in 1951 and is a member of the oneworld® Alliance. The airline operates a fleet of 224 aircraft and has announced plans to begin renewing its international flagship aircraft starting in its winter 2023 schedule. Together with other JAL Group and partner airlines, JAL offers an extensive domestic and international network that serves 376 airports across 64 countries/regions. The airline has received numerous accolades for its exceptional service, including being recognized as a certified 5-Star Airline by Skytrax and being awarded the prestigious „World Class“ Airline title by APEX, the Airline Passenger Experience Association. JAL takes great pride in its on-time performance and is regarded as one of the most punctual airlines globally. The airline is dedicated to ensuring the highest standards of flight safety and overall service quality, striving to be the most preferred airline by customers worldwide.

The JAL Group recognizes that action to address climate change is a particularly important issue for the sustainability of society, and in June 2020, the group announced its commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

For details and to learn more, visit JAL’s official website at https://www.jal.com/en/.


About JAL Engineering Co., Ltd. (JALEC)

JAL Engineering Co., Ltd. (JALEC) is responsible for the line and heavy maintenance, development and control of maintenance plan for the aircrafts operated by JAL group airlines, such as JAL, J-AIR, Spring Japan and ZIPAIR Tokyo.

Based on Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Narita International Airport, and Osaka Itami International Airport, JALEC provides high-quality maintenance service including engines and components maintenance and supporting aviation safety through extensive knowledge and advanced technical skill developed by over years of experience.