JAL and REGENT to study seaglider operations in Japan

Render of a REGENT seaglider aircraft.
Image Credit: REGENT

In a newly-formed partnership, Japan Airlines Co., Ltd. (JAL) and REGENT Craft Inc. have come together to pave the way for seaglider operations in Japan.

This collaboration marks a significant step towards a sustainable future, with the goal of creating a revolutionary mode of transportation that is not only eco-friendly but also safe and efficient.

The Seaglider Phenomenon

Before we look into the partnership, let’s take a moment to understand what seagliders are and why they have been gaining so much attention.

Seagliders are innovative all-electric watercraft that utilize a wing-in-ground effect to glide several meters above the water’s surface.

Photo Credit: REGENT

This unique design creates a cushion of air between the wings and the water, allowing the seaglider to move smoothly and efficiently.

What sets seagliders apart is their commitment to sustainability, emitting zero emissions and offering a greener alternative to traditional transportation methods.


The Partnership

JAL, with its extensive experience in commercial operations, joins forces with REGENT Craft, which brings technological expertise to the table. Together, they aim to redefine mobility and transportation in Japan and beyond.

This partnership is about taking concrete steps to make seagliders a reality in Japan. Here are the key objectives that JAL and REGENT Craft plan to achieve together:

Raising Awareness

One of the initial goals is to increase awareness and understanding of seagliders in Japan. Many people are unfamiliar with this innovative mode of transportation, and educating the public is crucial to its success.

Identifying Operation Jurisdictions

Determining where seaglider operations can take place is a critical step. JAL and its group operators will work closely with REGENT Craft to pinpoint the best locations for seagliders to operate safely and efficiently.

Infrastructure Development

Creating the necessary infrastructure for seaglider operations is essential. This includes building facilities, docks, and maintenance centers to support the fleet of seagliders.

Demonstrations and Certification

A major milestone in this partnership is the planned demonstration flight in 2025. This flight will serve as a proof of concept and a stepping stone towards obtaining certification for the safe operation of electric seagliders.

Sales and Marketing

JALUX Co., Ltd. will play a crucial role as a sales agent for these remarkable maritime craft. They will help promote and distribute seaglider services throughout the region.

Stakeholder Comments

Yasushi Noda, Executive Officer, Senior Vice President – Digital Innovation, Japan Airlines, expressed his enthusiasm for the new venture, saying, “With 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.”

This sentiment underscores the importance of seagliders as a sustainable and efficient mode of transportation in the Japanese context.

Billy Thalheimer, co-founder and CEO of REGENT, echoed this sentiment, stating, “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.”

This vision of a future where seagliders are a common means of travel is inspiring and aligns perfectly with the goals of this partnership.

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By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
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