Japan Airlines, Matternet to launch drone delivery in healthcare sector
Japan Airlines (JAL) and Matternet have signed a memorandum of understanding.
September 25, 2020: Japan Airlines (JAL) and Matternet have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to assess drone delivery healthcare opportunities and develop a future drone healthcare delivery business in Japan utilising Matternet’s M2 urban drone logistics platform.
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 commercialisation 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 deploying the Matternet M2 drone system in the drone logistics business development project of Tokyo to possibly develop a sustainable business model.
In March last year, UPS announced a new logistics service to deliver medical samples via unmanned drones through collaboration in collaboration with Matternet.
Matternet is the leading 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 organisations. Matternet has launched successful drone networks around the world and received regulatory approval from the Swiss Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) and US 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. “Matternet’s drone delivery platform enables extremely fast and predictable transport of urgent items and stands to revolutionise 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. “We aim to contribute to improving healthcare and solving logistics issues through our partnership with Matternet.”
In March 2017, Matternet became the first company in the world to be authorised for commercial BVLOS operations of drone logistics networks over cities in Switzerland. In March 2019, Matternet and UPS announced a partnership to provide drone delivery services to US healthcare systems, starting with WakeMed Health in NC and most recently at Wake Forest Baptist Health. In October 2019, Matternet's technology enabled the first FAA-approved drone Airline, UPS Flight Forward (USPFF), providing fast expansion to healthcare facilities across the US. To date, Matternet technology has enabled 10,000+ commercial revenue drone flights.