Japan Airlines to Operate First Passenger Flight in Japan with Net Zero CO2 Emissions

A Japan Airlines Airbus taxiing.
Melv_L - MACASR, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

LONDON – The JAL Group – Japan Airlines – is ramping up its commitment to sustainability with a planned flight operating on a ‘net-zero’ emissions principle.

On November 18 2022, the JAL Group will operate its first fully Sustainable Charter Flight with an Airbus A350-900 aircraft from Tokyo (Haneda) to Okinawa (Naha).

The Sustainable Charter Flight will effectively challenge current models, working toward a sustainable future through initiatives to reduce CO2 emissions, eliminate inflight service plastics, reduce food loss as well as promoting factors such as diversity and inclusion.

The airline says it intends to revitalize local communities all while working toward a future society alongside customers, businesses, and local communities under the slogan, “A Sustainable Future Together.”

This Sustainable Charter Flight is to become the first in Japan to achieve net zero CO2 emissions.

In May, the company announced the JAL Group Medium Term Management Rolling Plan 2022, placing environmental, social, and governance strategies at the core of management concerns. JAL’s Medium-Term Management Rolling Plan 2022 is part of the JAL Group Medium Term Management Plan for the Fiscal Years 2021-2025 to achieve the JAL Vision 2030.

This Sustainable Charter Flight marks a new era of air travel that provides customers new opportunities to see, learn, and experience the benefits of sustainability while participating in Okinawa’s local culture, traditions, and rich natural environment.

The Group says that the proposed flight serves to “solidify JAL’s determination to embark on a journey to trigger change toward a more sustainable future.”

Reduce CO2 emissions, plastic use, and food loss

The Airbus A350 aircraft by design is a new-generation eco-friendly airliner, which makes it perhaps the perfect demonstrator for Japan Airlines proposed Sustainable Charter Flight.

The aircraft emits 15-25% less CO2 than conventional aircraft, with composite elements in its interior and exterior construction.

By using Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) and exercising JAL’s Carbon Offset, the flight proposes to achieve net zero CO2 emissions. The company is further appealing to customers to also contribute by reducing their luggage weight and recycle paper cups in flight. 

Co-creating travel for a sustainable future

The flight will serve in-flight meals and certified beverages made from next generation ingredients which focus on reducing environmental impact and providing nutrition. Customers will additionally receive a souvenir baggage tag machined from recycled aircraft scraps.

As a further incentive, JAL will also award Sustainable Miles to passengers who support the initiatives, such as optional sustainable package tours in Okinawa.

A range of supporting hotels will offer optional dinner menus with locally-sourced ingredients from Okinawa, and JAL is working to include further collaborations.

The JAL Group has a stated objective of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, in keeping with generally adopted global standards. In line with its JAL Vision 2030 initiative, the airline plans to progressively ramp down its annual CO2 emissions with KPI’s set for 2025 and 2030.

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