Cargo Delivery by Drone: Malaysia’s Raya Airways Demonstrates Commercial Viability

Raya Airways of Malaysia is testing the commercial viability of cargo delivery by drone in Kuala Lumpur, using cargo drones from Pen Aviation.

cargo delivery by drone

3D PEN55V Drone carrying Raya Airways Cargo Box, © Cavok-UAS / Pen Aviation

cargo delivery by drone

PEN55V-001 Flight Test for Take-off and Landing (France), © Cavok-UAS / Pen Aviation

cargo delivery by drone

PEN55V Drones Family, © Cavok-UAS / Pen Aviation

Raya Airways is performing a Proof of Commercialization (POC) project with Pen Aviation to demonstrate the commercial viability of cargo delivery by drone in the region. Raya hopes to be the first Malaysian freight service provider in ASEAN to operate cargo drones.

The POC will use the PEN55V, Pen Aviation’s medium size cargo drone.  Raya plans to add a “Drone-As-a-Service” (DaaS) to it’s range of offerings, operating a mixed fleet of PEN55V and PEN1360V heavy lift cargo drones.

Drone delivery services like medical drone delivery and just in time industrial delivery have already proven successful in the commercial market.  This Malaysian POC will “specifically explore the deployment of drones to facilitate port logistics, entailing logistics and distribution activities for goods at commercial ports,” says the announcement.  Drone delivery has significant value to offer ports, where processes have been further snarled by the current COVID-19 pandemic.

“This exercise will be performed in accordance with the Civil Aviation Directive CAD 6011, a regulation by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia which allows for the development of unmanned aircraft technologies,” says the announcement.  “The drones will be operated by certified pilots to pick-up and drop off packages weighing up to 12kg, with a distance of up to 50km from containers on cargo ships to the port and vice versa.” 

Exploring cargo delivery by drone reflects Raya’s commitment to reducing emissions, says the announcement:  “Apart from adapting to the changing logistics landscape, this will also allow Raya Airways to improve cost optimisation and enhance environmental sustainability, as drones optimizes energy consumption, thus reducing carbon emissions.”

Mohamad Najib Ishak, Group Managing Director of Raya Airways Sdn. Bhd. said We are extremely delighted to partner with Pen Aviation to continue developing new revenue streams by reshaping our products and services to offer safe, certified and reliable innovations to cater to more time-definite services. Complementing our expertise with Pen Aviation’s technical capabilities, we are confident that we will be able to contribute to the sustainable growth of the industry, particularly in Malaysia. With increasing demand for efficient and cost-effective freight forwarding services, the POC is timely as it paves the way for Raya Airways to strengthen our position as a mid-mile provider and build future capabilities to serve Asia and the Asia Pacific region, with a cargo drone fleet capable of flying up to 1,000kg of goods.”

“Additionally, this is aligned with our collective vision for a more sustainable business model, particularly in the areas of environmental and green logistics, as the usage of drones is envisioned to play a pivotal role in contributing to net zero emissions, accelerating our sustainability efforts for environmental preservation. Beyond port operations, we aim to introduce the usage of drones in the field of surveillance and maritime in the future,” concluded Najib Ishak.

“We are excited to work with Raya Airways”, said Jean-Bernard Boura, Managing Director of Pen Aviation Sdn. Bhd. 
“Our collaboration provides the best solution for the logistics industry by enhancing service level while reducing cost, lead-time, and ensuring full compliance. This partnership reflects our desire to collaborate with companies that share our vision and values. Together with Raya Airways, we look forward to unlocking new business opportunities while efficiently adding value to Raya Airways services.”

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