After the resounding success in contributing to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS) COVID-19 response, Australian drone logistics company Swoop Aero and UK advanced air mobility (AAM) company Skyports are extending their partnership to deploy drone delivery networks across the Americas and Europe.
The collaboration will combine Skyports’ expertise in drone delivery operations with Swoop Aero’s industry-leading technology and extensive experience to enable increased access to drone delivery solutions in locations throughout Europe and the Americas. In addition to streamlining and modernising traditional logistics networks, the partnership will improve critical supply chains to support emergency responses, such as the COVID-19 crisis.
The announcement follows Swoop Aero’s recent launch of the Kite™ aircraft. The next-generation aircraft is designed with precision for urban flight and high-impact rural and remote operations and that Swoop Aero considers will be the most advanced aircraft of its type being progressed through USA Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification programmes. Kite™ is the centrepiece of Swoop Aero’s full technology stack, including hardware, software, and supporting infrastructure, which will be a core component empowering Skyports’ global operations.
With the partnership, Skyports will be the first partner organisation of Swoop Aero to gain access to the next-generation Kite™ aircraft as part of Swoop Aero’s Kite™ Pioneer Program. Skyports will incorporate the Kite™ aircraft into its fleet for usage across medical, maritime and logistics drone delivery operations across Europe, the Americas and select countries across Asia-Pacific (APAC). Through this partnership, Skyports will enable Swoop Aero to accelerate the footprint of its technology around the world, making access to the skies seamless for more communities sooner.
Eric Peck, CEO of Swoop Aero, said: “We’re so excited to continue to work with Skyports in new markets across Europe and the Americas. With Kite™, Swoop Aero has finessed our versatility and unlocked the skies above cities. We’re excited to unlock the potential of drone logistics for these new markets.
“Swoop Aero was founded to transform the way the world moves by making access to the skies seamless. In our collaboration with Skyports, we have been able to treat patients in their local communities and enhance the emotional and economic prosperity of people in the region.
“It’s great to see the positive impacts that have emerged from our strategic partnership, and we’re looking forward to extending our collaboration into new markets, and continuing to work towards Swoop Aero’s goal to provide 100 million people with access to sustainable drone networks by 2025.”
Duncan Walker, CEO of Skyports, said: “Our collaboration with Swoop Aero has been instrumental to our drone delivery operations which are helping to connect people in even the most remote geographies. The extension of this partnership not only demonstrates our commitment to improving medical logistics and access to healthcare around the world, but it also highlights the work we’re doing to make drone deliveries a commercial, scalable reality. The American and European markets have demonstrated huge appetite for drone delivery services, and we’re thrilled to be leading the revolution.”
The companies began their partnership in late 2020. Skyports, a leader in drone logistics and infrastructure for electric air taxis and cargo drones, leveraged Swoop Aero’s air logistics platform to transform the delivery and distribution of COVID-19 commodities, including PPE and COVID-19 samples, in the hard-to-reach and geographically hostile terrains of the remote Scottish Highlands and Islands The operations reduced critical journey times from two days down to as little as 30 minutes. More recently, Skyports has leveraged the Swoop Aero platform to support the transportation of pathology and blood samples to and from rural communities in the Argyll and Bute region in the west of Scotland.
Against the backdrop of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, Skyports and Swoop Aero saved over 11,000 hours of pathology waiting time and made over 422 flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) of the remote pilot covering 14,000km.