Dronamics, the world's first cargo drone airline with a license to operate in Europe, and Qatar Airways Cargo, have announced an interline agreement — marking the first interline deal between an international airline and a cargo drone airline.
The interline agreement allows the extension of the delivery networks of both partners, significantly increasing their reach as well as providing access to areas previously hard to reach by traditional air freight, according to a statement.
It added that through the agreement, Dronamics could offer cargo services from any of its droneports, initially in Greece, to the wider Qatar Airways Cargo network — including destinations such as Singapore, China, Hong Kong, and the United States (JFK).
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways Cargo is able to access 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," the announcement said.
It added 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.
"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," said Svilen Rangelov, co-Founder and CEO of Dronamics.
He added that while currently less than 1% of global trade moves by air, the vast global reach of Qatar Airways Cargo would give Dronamics "the perfect platform" to massively expand air cargo accessibility to countless more communities worldwide, enabling same-day delivery "for everyone, everywhere."
Elisabeth Oudkerk, SVP cargo sales & network planning at Qatar Airways Cargo, noted that as a part of the carrier's "VISION 2027 5-year strategy," the carrier is 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," Oudkerk added.
Dronamics is expected 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.
Earlier this year, Dronamics became the first cargo drone airline to obtain IATA & ICAO designator codes, granting it recognition on par with other international airlines and the ability to issue air waybills to enable seamless bookings with its airline partners.
The announcement said this interline agreement is a crucial next step in Dronamics' plan to establish a cargo drone airline network with worldwide reach.