Today, Matternet, developer of the world’s leading urban drone logistics platform, announced it is expanding operations to Asia through a new business partnership with Japan Airlines (JAL). The partnership is to deploy the Matternet M2 drone system in Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s new “drone logistics business development project”, and utilize the system to assess drone delivery opportunities in Japan. Through proof-of-concept trials, JAL will accumulate significant flight experience on Matternet’s urban drone delivery platform and work with Matternet to develop the future of the partnership’s drone delivery business.
“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 revolutionize how healthcare and e-commerce are delivered in cities and megacities around the world.”
JAL and Matternet will utilize the M2 drone system to transport prescription pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and blood units to simulate emergency response and disaster relief scenarios. The trial program aims to operate on a BVLOS route over a dense urban area in the heart of Tokyo, transporting items from Mediceo Corp’s East Tokyo warehouse to St. Luke’s International Hospital.
“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.”
Matternet’s drone system has been operating around the world since 2017 through partnerships with Swiss Post and UPS Flight Forward (UPSFF). In Switzerland, the system is operating at Lugano’s EOC hospital and the University Hospital Zurich. In the US, operations are taking place at Wake Forest Baptist Health and WakeMed’s flagship hospital and campus in Raleigh, N.C. Matternet’s technology is also enabling UPSFF to provide drone delivery service of prescription medicines for The Villages, Florida, one of the U.S.’s largest retirement communities. The service provides an option for seniors at higher risk for the Coronavirus infection to receive prescriptions without going to a store.