MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., – 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.
Matternet has developed best-in-class technology for on-demand, aerial delivery in urban environments. The company provides its technology platform-as-a-service to healthcare and logistics organizations. In March 2017, Matternet became the first company in the world to be authorized 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 (full Part 135 Standard certification) 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. For more information about Matternet, please visit: https://mttr.net.
About Japan Airlines
Japan Airlines (JAL) was founded in 1951 and became the first international airline in Japan. A member of the oneworld® alliance, the airline now reaches 430 airports in 66 countries and regions together with its codeshare partners. Awarded as one of the most punctual major international airlines and a certified 5-Star Airline by Skytrax, JAL is committed to providing customers with the highest levels of flight safety and quality in every aspect of its service, and aims to become one of the most preferred and valued airlines in the world. JAL aims to develop a new type of service in the air transportation industry, utilizing new UAV technology, by delivering medical care and achieving key sustainable development goals.