Matternet is expanding its operations to Asia through a new business partnership with Japan Airlines. The partnership will 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, Japan Airlines will accumulate 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 Matternet CEO Andreas Raptopoulos. “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 use the M2 drone system to transport prescription pharmaceuticals, medical supplies, and blood units to simulate emergency response and disaster relief scenarios. The trial program’s goal is to operate on a beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) route over a dense urban area in the heart of Tokyo, transporting items from an East Tokyo medical 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 Japan Airlines Managing Executive Officer of Innovation Tomohiro Nishihata. “We aim to contribute to improving healthcare and solving logistic issues through our partnership with Matternet.”
Matternet has been operating its drone systems since 2017 through a partnership with Swiss Post and UPS Flight Forward. In Switzerland, the system is operating at hospitals in Lugano and Zurich; and in the U.S., operations are taking place at hospitals in North Carolina and California, and enabling UPS Flight Forward to deliver prescription medications to The Villages retirement community in Florida.
Read the original press release here.
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