JAL and Matternet to launch drone delivery business partnership in Japan

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Japan Airlines (JAL) on September 23 announced that Matternet M2 drone system is set to be deployed in Tokyo’s new drone logistics project. It will also be utilized to assess drone delivery healthcare opportunities in Japan

Japan Airlines and Matternet signed an MOU to assess and develop a future drone healthcare delivery business in Japan utilizing Matternet’s M2 urban drone logistics platform. Due to the lack of delivery personnel and the impact of the global pandemic, the necessity to respond to changes in the logistics industry has become more urgent than ever before. The use of drones may help realise automatic, contactless delivery services on remote islands, mountainous areas and even within the city.

Since last year, JAL has been conducting demonstrations on transporting relief supplies through various trials within Japan. Currently, in order to develop logistics services using drones, JAL is studying the feasibility for the commercialization of such services with various companies and hospitals. Through this partnership, Matternet will conduct a joint research project with JAL in Japan, as the company continues to expand its commercial business globally. Further, JAL will consider to deploy the Matternet M2 drone system in the drone logistics business development project of Tokyo to possibly develop a sustainable business model.

The Matternet M2 StationThe Matternet M2 Station

Matternet is a developer of on-demand, autonomous, urban drone logistics systems for transporting medical items across distributed healthcare networks, providing its technology platform-as-a-service to healthcare and logistics organizations. Matternet has launched successful drone networks around the world and received regulatory approval from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to conduct fully-autonomous Beyond Line of Sight operations and Flights Over People to transport critical, high-value medical items. To date, Matternet technology has enabled 10,000+ commercial revenue drone flights.

“We are very excited to expand our operations to Asia and partner with JAL to show the incredible impact of drone delivery to Japan’s cities, starting with the Tokyo metropolitan area,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, CEO of Matternet. He added, “Matternet’s drone delivery platform enables extremely fast and predictable transport of urgent items and stands to revolutionize how healthcare and e-commerce are delivered in cities and megacities around the world.”

“Japan Airlines is eager to explore the future of its air logistics business with the implementation of drone delivery,” said Tomohiro Nishihata, Japan Airlines’ managing executive officer of Innovation. He added, “We aim to contribute to improving healthcare and solving logistics issues through our partnership with Matternet.”

JAL aims to develop a new type of service in the air transportation industry, utilizing new UAV technology, by delivering the operational platform in New Air mobility and achieve key sustainable development goals. 

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