Monday, July 15, 2024

Blue Dart Partners with Skye Air for Drone Deliveries in India

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Logistics company Blue Dart, part of the DHL Group, has partnered with drone delivery startup Skye Air to deliver packages using drones. This partnership, which began a few weeks ago, aims to reduce delivery times significantly, cutting them from hours to just minutes. Blue Dart is initially focusing on the growing ecommerce sector.

Drone Delivery System Work

The drone deliveries are coordinated from Skye Air’s hub in Sector 70-71 in Gurugram. The drones take off from this hub and fly to designated Skye Pods installed in residential complexes. Currently, Skye Pods are operational in three societies for Blue Dart deliveries. These specialized containers serve as drop-off points where the parcels are collected by last-mile delivery executives, known as “Skyewalkers,” who then deliver them to the customers’ doorsteps. This system enhances efficiency and ensures quick delivery within minutes.

Challenges and Solutions

Operating drones in the intense heat of the National Capital Region (Delhi NCR) poses significant challenges. To mitigate this, drone flights are scheduled from 6 a.m. to 11 a.m., avoiding the peak midday temperatures that can soar to 50°C. Additionally, despite improvements in the regulatory processes, the startup had to secure numerous local administrative permissions to service the residential societies.

Leveraging “Green Zones”

Skye Air has strategically utilized “green zones” in Gurugram, where drone operations can be conducted without prior permission from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA). These zones include Golf Course Extension, SPR, New Gurugram, Dwarka Expressway, and Sector 50. However, obtaining local administrative permissions was a complex process.

What Leadership Comments

Balfour Manuel, Managing Director of Blue Dart, commented on this initiative, stating, “The logistics sector in India is experiencing an exhilarating phase. The nation’s robust economic growth, coupled with the aspirations of its consumers and growth in Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities, has significantly boosted purchasing power. This surge in demand emphasizes the need for innovative solutions that drive growth while ensuring efficiency and sustainability. As we witness the marvel of drone technology, we eagerly anticipate extending this service further, with plans to cover additional pin codes in subsequent stages with our partners.”

Partnership between Blue Dart and Skye Air marks a significant step towards leveraging drone technology for faster, more efficient deliveries in India.

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