Japan Airlines Innovation Fund - the venture arm of JAL - Japan Airlines (JL, Tokyo Haneda)– has made an undisclosed strategic investment in electric seaglider pioneer Regent Craft (North Kingstown), the companies announced in a statement.

The move marks JAL's first step to exploring incorporating seagliders into its global network. "We believe seagliders are a safe, sustainable, and economical solution, and we are excited to work with Regent to assess demand not only in Japan but around the world," commented JAL's Executive Officer, Senior Vice President – Digital Innovation, Yasushi Noda.

With this investment, Regent has now raised more than USD45 million. "This strategic investment speaks to the growing adoption of seaglider technology by major airlines," said Regent co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Billy Thalheimer. Regent's other investors include Thiel Capital, Y Combinator, Founders Fund, and Mark Cuban.

The developer aims for its 12-passenger seaglider, Viceroy, to enter service by mid-decade. Seagliders will combine an aircraft's high speed with a boat's low operating cost. These all-electric, zero-emission vessels will operate on water and leverage existing dock infrastructure to carry people and goods up to 289 km between coastal destinations.

Regent said it has sold more than 400 seagliders and has more than USD7.5 billion in orders from commercial operating partners worldwide. Launch customers include Mokulele Airlines, Southern Airways Express, FRS (Germany), and Ocean Flyer (New Zealand).

In addition to the investment, Regent and JAL are working together to explore opportunities for "ecosystem development", bringing together relevant stakeholders to deliver the benefits of seagliders to new and underserved markets.