SpiceJet on Saturday said it plans to introduce drone delivery service to transport vaccines, life-saving medicines and essential goods.
The budget carrier said it has partnered with Throttle Aerospace for more than 50 customised high-end drones, while Aeologic will provide the drone software management.
In a statement, SpiceJet said, it plans to introduce customised drones of different payloads, including 0-5 kg, 5-10 kg and 10-25 kg, which have the potential to change India's supply chain capabilities.
The airline said it initially plans to target mid-mile drone deliveries while preparing for last-mile deliveries in future.
“SpiceXpress (the airline's logistics arm) will focus on delivering vaccines, life-saving drugs and essential goods among others to the remotest and farthest corners of the country which is otherwise difficult to reach by the traditional means of transportations,” it mentioned.
The airline's initial outreach plan for its drone business encompasses 10 districts with over 150 locations with an aim to achieve over 25,000 deliveries per month, it noted.
SpiceJet will also set up dedicated drone ports at strategic locations across the country.
Last year, a SpiceXpress-led consortium had submitted a proposal to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) drone operations in response to a DGCA notice inviting Expression of Interest.
Based on the recommendations of the BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring Committee, SpiceXpress was granted formal permission by the regulator for conducting experimental BVLOS drone trials in May 2020.
“Throttle Aerospace has successfully completed 100 hours of testing based on the recommendations of the BVLOS Experiment Assessment and Monitoring Committee,” the airline said.