Astral Aviation to acquire two drones for cargo delivery network in Kenya
18 / 07 / 2018
African cargo carrier Astral Aviation has signed a letter of intent to acquire two Lucas-F250 drones, with plans to launch a cargo drone network in Kenya next year
The Kenya-based airline has an option to purchase an additional ten drones in 2019 from the manufacturer, Dubai-based Falcon Drones Technology.
Astral Aviation will be the exclusive operator of the Lucas F-250 drone in Kenya.
The F-250 is an unmanned aerial vehicle with a range extending 1500km, endurance of up to 10 hours, a cruise speed of 150km per hour and maximum speed of 200km per hour.
It has a cargo weight of up to 250 kg, capacity for Euro-pallet dimensions, folding wings, a folding tail, fully autonomous take off and landing, and Waypoint Navigation and landing.
Sanjeev Gadhia, chief executive of Astral Aviation, commented: “The Falcon Drones technology is truly ground breaking. At Astral, we are delighted to have secured this order with exclusivity in Kenya.
“It brings with it the exciting prospect of further expansion in the wider East Africa region.”
Gadhia, in a presentation to the Farnborough Airshow cargo village conference, spoke of a phased implementation for the drone network, comprising domestic, regional and then intra-Africa deliveries, with Nairobi as the central logistics hub.
The first phase focus in Kenya will be on aid and relief, e-commerce, postal networks, medical deliveries, schoolbooks and the oil, gas and mining sectors.
The second phase, the eastern African region, will focus on point to point and last mile delivery within "strategic drone hubs", serving a population of 250m people, all subject to regulatory approval.
The third and final phase will extend the range of phase two to include strategic locations in Africa.
Kamel Alzarka, chairman and founder of Falcon Drones, said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for Falcon Drones and we are thrilled to have signed this letter of intent.
”We very much look forward to building a strong relationship with Astral Aviation in the coming years.”