Toronto-based Drone Delivery Canada is taking its business concept to Kenya. Under an agreement brokered by Air Canada, the company will work with Kenyan startup Astral Aerial Solutions Limited to grow the African nation’s drone delivery market.
“There are numerous potential applications from traditional last-mile cargo to mining, oil and gas, healthcare, humanitarian aid and infrastructure inspection services,” DDC CEO Michael Zahra said.
“Astral Aerial’s parent company, Astral Aviation has a global, award-winning reputation and we look forward to a commercial relationship with them.”
Astral Aerial Solutions is a newly licensed drone operator based in Kenya. The companies will collaborate with the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority to explore a sales agreement authorizing DDC to deploy a drone logistics solution.
“We are honored to co-operate with Drone Delivery Canada, and to learn from their experience in providing innovative drone-based logistics platforms in Canada that can be applied in Africa,” Astral Aerial Solutions/Astral Aviation CEO Sanjeev Gadhia said. “The Canadian technology can benefit various sectors in Africa especially in healthcare and accessibility to remote communities.”
Kenyan Drone Growth
Kenya’s growing presence in the drone space has accelerated over the past few years. Last week, Women And Drones named Kenya Flying Labs as its Humanitarian Team Award Honoree.
Canadian drone company Altohelix launched a partnership with the Kenyan Red Cross to develop several drone-facing programs goals: mapping areas of disaster risk; crop monitoring for food security; and aerial video and photography for communications and public relations.
Drone Delivery Canada News Roundup
- August: The company partnered with the Georgina Island First Nation to provide delivery services to the Ontario community. DDC will launch a two-way delivery flight route to the First Nation’s mainland community using its Sparrow drone and the DroneSpot takeoff-and-landing zones.
- July: DDC prepared to fly into the U.S. market, sparking discussions with potential American partners. A company spokesperson said several companies had expressed interest in working with the Toronto-based UAV firm to “provide [DDC’s] proprietary systems to support drone delivery solutions for multiple vertical markets and use-cases in multiple geographies.”
- June: Drone Delivery Canada announced a collaboration with GlobalMedic and Air Canada to deliver COVID-treatment cargo to Christian Island, a remote territory governed by the Beausoleil First Nation Community in Ontario.
- November: DDC announced its first partnership with European logistics/transport group DSV Panalpina A/S to provide a drone-based delivery platform to the Danish conglomerate’s new Canadian air and sea division.
- February 2019: Drone Delivery Canada unveiled its largest and longest-range drone, the Condor. Under development over the past year, the single-rotor vehicle offers a payload of 400 pounds and can travel up to 124 miles on a tank of gas.
- 2018: DDC announced a partnership with Toyota Tsusho Canada – a subsidiary of the well-known Toyota Group. The effort will see TTCI participate with DDC’s commercial pilot program in Canada for flight testing and development of international markets for drone delivery.