Raya Airways set to be first cargo drone operator in ASEAN

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Raya Airways set to be first cargo drone operator in ASEAN


In line with its aspiration to provide future forward and innovative solutions, Malaysian logistics provider, Raya Airways recently embarked on a Proof of Commercialisation (POC) in partnership with Pen Aviation to demonstrate the commercial viability of utilising drones to transport goods.

This marks a significant milestone for Raya Airways, setting it on track to be the first Malaysian freight service provider in ASEAN to operate cargo drones.

The POC is aimed at unlocking prospects for Raya Airways within its freight services. The POC will entail the utilisation of PEN55V, Pen Aviation’s medium size cargo drone.

The final objective for Raya Airways is to enhance “Drone-As-a-Service” (DaaS) to its offering by operating a mixed fleet of PEN55V and PEN1360V, Pen Aviation’s heavy size cargo drones. With cargo UAV (Unmanned Automated Vehicle) already proven effective in other logistic operations such as for delivery of vital medicines to otherwise inaccessible locations, and in warehouses to deliver parts at precise moments, the POC will specifically explore the deployment of drones to facilitate port logistics, entailing logistics and distribution activities for goods at commercial ports.

Expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2021, the POC will undertake port logistics missions jointly conducted by Raya Airways and Pen Aviation. This exercise will be performed in accordance with the Civil Aviation Directive CAD 6011, a regulation by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia which allows for the development of unmanned aircraft technologies.

Certified pilots

The drones will be operated by certified pilots to pick-up and drop off packages weighing up to 12kg, with a distance of up to 50km from containers on cargo ships to the port and vice versa.

Additionally, the POC will demonstrate Pen Aviation’s ecosystem superiority to successfully deliver high-volume automated logistics operations with a 24/7 UAV-based freight service.

Redefining logistics in line with the global push towards carbon neutrality, the deployment of Pen Aviation’s drones reflects Raya Airways’ commitment to reduce logistics-related emissions. Apart from adapting to the changing logistics landscape, this will also allow Raya Airways to improve cost optimisation and enhance environmental sustainability, as drones optimises energy consumption, thus reducing carbon emissions.

Extremely delighted

Mohamad Najib Ishak, Group managing director of Raya Airways said: “We are extremely delighted to partner with Pen Aviation to continue developing new revenue streams by reshaping our products and services to offer safe, certified and reliable innovations to cater to more time-definite services. Complementing our expertise with Pen Aviation’s technical capabilities, we are confident that we will be able to contribute to the sustainable growth of the industry, particularly in Malaysia. With increasing demand for efficient and cost-effective freight forwarding services, the POC is timely as it paves the way for Raya Airways to strengthen our position as a mid-mile provider and build future capabilities to serve Asia and the Asia Pacific region, with a cargo drone fleet capable of flying up to 1,000kg of goods.”

“Additionally, this is aligned with our collective vision for a more sustainable business model, particularly in the areas of environmental and green logistics, as the usage of drones is envisioned to play a pivotal role in contributing to net zero emissions, accelerating our sustainability efforts for environmental preservation. Beyond port operations, we aim to introduce the usage of drones in the field of surveillance and maritime in the future,” concluded Najib Ishak.

“We are excited to work with Raya Airways,”, said Jean-Bernard Boura, managing director of Pen Aviation “Teaming up with Raya Airways is not about drone operation only. Above and beyond drone design and manufacturing with our French Partner Cavok-UAS, Pen Aviation is an ecosystem provider that enables new businesses by leveraging on DigiMIND™, Pen Aviation’s unique digital platform automating complex business and operational processes.”

“Our collaboration provides the best solution for the logistics industry by enhancing service level while reducing cost, lead-time, and ensuring full compliance. This partnership reflects our desire to collaborate with companies that share our vision and values. Together with Raya Airways, we look forward to unlocking new business opportunities while efficiently adding value to Raya Airways services.”