Tokyo, Japan and North Kingstown, R.I., Oct. 05, 2023 -- Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (Location: Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo, President and Group CEO: Yuji Akasaka, hereinafter referred to as “JAL”) and REGENT Craft (Headquarters: United States, CEO: Billy Thalheimer, hereinafter referred to as “REGENT”) have announced the signing of a comprehensive partnership agreement to establish a system for seaglider operations in Japan. The agreement follows a strategic investment in REGENT made earlier this year by JAL Innovation Fund, the CVC of JAL. Through this agreement, the two companies aim to implement next-generation mobility where people can move safely and comfortably with zero emissions.
The all-electric seagliders being developed by REGENT are wing-in-ground effect craft that fly several meters above the water on a cushion of air trapped between the wings and the water’s surface. Seagliders are attracting attention as a new form of sustainable mobility, further expanding the possibilities of new transportation methods that do not place a burden on the environment, as well as the development of new markets.
The new agreement signifies a commitment to deepen business development between the two companies. With the goal of establishing a system of seaglider operations in Japan, JAL aims to utilize its accumulated knowledge of safe operation while REGENT brings its technological expertise to the table. Together, the companies will collaborate to drive awareness and understanding of seagliders in the region, identify jurisdictions for seaglider operations by JAL and JAL Group operators, develop infrastructure for seaglider operations – including a planned demonstration flight in 2025 – and obtain certification for the safe operation of electric seagliders. In addition, JALUX Co., Ltd. (location: Minato-ku, Tokyo, CEO: Satoru Takahama) will act as a sales agent for the maritime craft.
“I am delighted that we have successfully concluded this agreement," said Yasushi Noda, Executive Officer, Senior Vice President - Digital Innovation, Japan Airlines. “Japan, being an island nation, seaglider offers great potential for our country to connect people and to transport goods throughout the nation in a sustainable manner. By joining forces with REGENT and utilizing their compelling technology, we look forward to bringing this revolutionary vehicle to the global market in the near future."
“Japan is an exemplary market for seaglider travel and logistics and we look forward to partnering with JAL to accelerate the adoption of seagliders throughout the country, and the broader Asia Pacific region,” said Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of REGENT. “By leveraging the expertise JAL has cultivated over the years to conduct safe operations, we hope to create a world where everyone can travel safely and comfortably by seaglider.”