Kenya’s national carrier, Kenya Airways, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Skyports to collaborate on launching permanent unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations in the country.
This collaboration brings together Kenya Airways’ significant expertise in aviation services and Skyports’ drone delivery logistics service, Delivery by Skyports.
In the coming three months, the partnership aims to explore the commercial viability and impact of various medical, logistical and inspection use cases alongside Kenya’s leading public and private institutions. The target for the launch of the first drone delivery flights in Q3-Q4 2021.
Allan Kilavuka, chief executive officer at Kenya Airways, said: “The partnership with Skyports aligns with our purpose of the sustainable development of Africa as it will support our diversification plans into 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.”
Duncan Walker, chief executive officer at Skyports, said: “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. This important partnership underscores Skyports’ tech-agnostic operator approach’s growth potential as a flexible offering suitable to various global market requirements. We look forward to working with Kenya Airways and further demonstrate the viability of AAM in different geographies.”
Skyports’ beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operational experience places the company in a unique position to support Kenya Airways. Skyports has obtained regulatory approvals to fly the UK’s first BVLOS medical drone deliveries for the National Health Service (NHS), with operations currently underway. Similarly, Skyports operated the UK Royal Mail’s first drone parcel delivery in Scotland in December 2020.
Kenya Airways seeks to lead drone technology in the region. It will see one of Africa’s leading carriers offer training, operations and traffic management services through its wholly owned subsidiary, Fahari aviation.