Kenya Airways (KQ) has entered into an agreement with UK-based advanced air mobility company, Skyports to launch unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations in the country.
The two firms signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that will bring together Skyports’ expertise in drone delivery logistics service and KQ’s expertise in aviation services.
Allan Kilavuka, Chief Executive Officer at Kenya Airways, the partnership goes hand in hand with KQ’S purpose of the sustainable development of Africa as it supports its plans in terms of drone technology application.
“It will give us access to available equipment and established operations that will lay the foundation for the Kenyan and regional drone market through our drone and emerging aviation technology subsidiary, Fahari Aviation,” Kivaluka said.
The collaboration aims to explore the commercial viability and impact of various medical, logistical and inspection use cases alongside Kenya’s leading public and private institutions with the launch of the first drone delivery flights slated for between the third quarter and fourth quarter of the year.
Skyports CEO Duncan Walker believes that the move will unlock opportunities in the application of drone technology.
“Our partnership with Kenya Airways can unlock significant opportunities for drone deliveries and inspections in Kenya, creating time and cost savings for our customers and contribute to the growth of the country’s tech and aviation ecosystem. We look forward to working with Kenya Airways and further demonstrate the viability of AAM in different geographies,” said Walker.
The move comes months after the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA)legalised the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in the country.
So far, the regulator has licensed a number of firms to operate drones such as Astral Aviation, Adriana and Drone Space. Kenya Airways seeks to lead drone technology in the region and increase its income especially after recording major losses in the last decade.