The collaboration aims to generate a new GCC network and operating model using VTOL aircraft for Aramex. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The aviation company building hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, Odys Aviation, is now partnering with Aramex to develop its cargo operations in the UAE and Oman.

This partnership will allow Odys Aviation and Aramex to explore Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) cargo delivery and enhance Aramex’s operations in the countries, an Aramex statement revealed.

“Odys Aviation’s aircraft, designed in multiple configurations for cargo, will be capable of delivering all-electric propulsion for distances up to 320 kilometers and will offer a hybrid-electric range of more than 1,200 kilometers,” the logistics giant said.

“As a result, flights operated via these aircraft have the potential to reduce carbon emissions on pan-GCC flights by up to 76 per cent and provide a zero-carbon air cargo alternative for routes across the UAE, Oman and beyond.”

Under the terms of the partnership, Odys Aviation and Aramex intend to collaborate on the development of autonomous logistics programs which will ultimately introduce cargo flights leveraging Odys’ cargo aircraft and Aramex’s fleet management capabilities.

Expansion plans in place

The first pilot programs will utilize Odys Aviation’s Laila aircraft (130 lbs payload) and will expand to include the company’s Alta aircraft, a full-scale vehicle with payload capabilities up to one tonne. Aramex intends to support pilot training and a test flight program which will demonstrate the movement of cargo between its regional locations.

Upon approval from regional regulatory bodies, the two companies intend to launch operations and commercial activities and expand beyond test programs to demonstrable routes and new markets within the GCC. The collaboration aims to generate a new GCC network and operating model using VTOL aircraft for Aramex.

Angad Singh, Global Director - Innovation at Aramex, said: “We look forward to partnering with Odys Aviation and deploying long range VTOL crafts, which shall drive us further towards our sustainability and Innovation targets.”

Odys Aviation plans to launch a full-scale prototype in 2024, with a view to making the aircraft available to enter Aramex’s cargo fleet by early 2028.