Dronamics, the world’s first cargo drone airline with a license to operate in Europe, and Qatar Airways Cargo have signed an interline agreement – the first between an international airline and a cargo drone airline.
The interline agreement allows the extension of the delivery networks of both organisations, significantly increasing their reach and providing access to areas previously hard to reach by traditional air freight.
Through the agreement, Dronamics will offer cargo services from any of its droneports, initially in Greece, to the wider Qatar Airways Cargo network – including destinations such as Singapore, China, including Hong Kong, and the US (JFK).
Qatar Airways Cargo will be able to access the remote locations that Dronamics serves, such as the Greek islands, on the Dronamics cargo drone network.
Through this network expansion, Dronamics customers can make a single booking to transport goods from a Dronamics droneport to any destination that the interline joint network covers, and vice versa.
A joint press release from the organisations state that the potential for the flow of goods, from pharma to food, from e-commerce, mail and parcels to spare parts, is significant, enabling rapid and reliable shipments to and from locations not sufficiently covered by air freight.
Svilen Rangelov, co-founder and chief executive of Dronamics, said: “We’re very excited to have the world’s largest air cargo carrier as our partner for the first-of-its-kind interline agreement with our category-defining cargo drone airline.
“While currently less than one per cent of global trade moves by air, the vast global reach of Qatar Airways Cargo and their world-leading capacity and service give us the perfect platform to massively expand air cargo accessibility to countless more communities worldwide, enabling same-day delivery for everyone, everywhere.”
Elisabeth Oudkerk, senior vice president cargo sales and network planning at Qatar Airways Cargo, said: “As a part of our VISION 2027 five-year strategy, we are committed to remaining at the forefront of our industry by embracing new disruptive technology.
“It is also within our DNA to support young ambitious companies like Dronamics and we are looking forward to seeing what the future holds for this exciting business.
“It is a significant milestone in the advancement of autonomous cargo drone transportation and we are proud to be the first international airline to offer this service.”
Dronamics state that it expects to begin commercial operations in Greece early next year, focusing on establishing a same day service connecting Athens, the capital city, with the industrial north area of the country, as well as the islands in the south.