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SpiceJet said that it is planning to introduce a drone delivery service to strategically expand its logistics platform. The said it will first target mid-mile drone deliveries while preparing for last-mile deliveries in the future.

SpiceJet 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 thereby making it more resilient and sustainable.

“SpiceJet continues to innovate and experiment with new technologies and we hope to introduce our drone delivery services soon. By inducting drones in the supply chain, SpiceJet's logistics arm, SpiceXpress, will take a massive technological leap which will change the game for fast and cost-effective logistics in India," said Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director, SpiceJet.

He further said that this will not just redefine the entire supply chain business but also offer a unique experience to the end consumer.

"With drones entering the logistics business, our fast emerging and growing e-commerce industry will be able to access the remotest corners of the country," he added.

The airline's freight movement arm SpiceXpress 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.

"SpiceJet has partnered with Throttle Aerospace for more than 50 customized high-end drones while Aeologic will provide the drone software management," it said in a statement.

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.

SpiceJet will also set up dedicated drone ports at strategic locations across the country.

"Poor transport and infrastructural challenges have been a key deterrent for taking new-age services to the hinterlands across the country. With businesses rapidly shifting to automation and enterprises prioritizing efficiency, autonomous technologies such as drones are now being considered for wider industrial use including the logistics industry," it said.

A SpiceXpress-led consortium last year had submitted a proposal to the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) for conducting experimental Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS) operations of remotely piloted aircraft 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.

"SpiceJet is the only scheduled airline in the country to experiment with drone delivery services. The airline plans to introduce SpiceXpress drone delivery service to strategically expand its logistics platform while building a unique and seamless supply chain competence for itself," it further added.

SpiceJet on Saturday also showcased its Drone delivery capabilities at the Gwalior Drone Mela.

SpiceJet demonstrated its Drone delivery capabilities at the Gwalior Drone Mela at Madhav Institute of Technology and Science in the presence of the Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Union Minister for Civil Aviation Jyotiraditya M Scindia, Union Minister of Agriculture andFarmers Welfare Narendra Singh Tomar, Member of Parliament, Gwalior Vivek Narayan Shejwalkar and CMD SpiceJet Ajay Singh.

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