It doesn’t take much for any road to turn into a long parking lot — a single car crash usually does the trick quite reliably. Being stuck in traffic sucks when traveling to or from work, but even a relatively minor traffic jam can have grave consequences when it involves the transportation of medical supplies.
But do you know where traffic jams are a very rare occurrence? In the sky. That’s why Abu Dhabi’s Department of Health is working with the UAE’s General Civil Aviation Authority and two drone companies to create a new drone delivery system capable of delivering medical supplies between 40 stations across Abu Dhabi.
One of the two drone companies helping make the project happen is the Abu Dhabi-based drone logistics company SkyGo, and the other company is Matternet, a California-based technology platform for urban aerial delivery.
SkyGo brings to the table its in-depth knowledge of the Abu Dhabi healthcare landscape and expertise in logistics and distribution in the Gulf region, while Matternet has extensive real-world experience with commercial Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) flying.
“We are seeing Matternet’s vision of building city-wide drone transportation infrastructure come to fruition in Abu Dhabi,” said Andreas Raptopoulos, Matternet’s CEO. “This will be a model for the rest of the world on how to successfully scale drone delivery for the benefit of healthcare and society overall”.
Abu Dhabi’s drone delivery system is planned to become operational in 2022. When it does, it will make Abu Dhabi the first city in the MENA region to use drones in healthcare logistics.
The United Arab Emirates has experimented with several different applications of drones in the past, using them to reduce response time to criminal and traffic reports or to spur rainfall in the desert.
Emirates Airline To Invest $2 Billion On Major Upgrades
Emirates plans a huge retrofit on its fleet and an upgrade to the inflight experience.
Emirates Airline has just announced plans to improve its inflight experience for passengers. The carrier has budgeted $2 billion to refit the interiors of over 120 of its aircraft, aiming for a more modern aesthetic for cabins, along with better food choices, modern inflight entertainment options, and a significant service overhaul.
Emirates is well known for its premium service, so this overhaul is an ambitious decision, as many other airlines are trying their hardest to increase revenues and reduce costs.
“Emirates is flying against the grain and investing to deliver ever better experiences to our customers. Through the pandemic we’ve continued to launch new services and initiatives to ensure our customers travel with the assurance and ease, including digital initiatives to improve customer experiences on the ground. Now we’re rolling out a series of intensive programmes to take Emirates’ signature inflight experiences to the next level,” says Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline.
The investment aims to ensure Emirates stays on top form, with many of the upgrades scheduled to materialize quickly. For the physical refit, aircraft are scheduled to enter the Emirates Engineering Center in November. So what can passengers expect once work is complete? The most significant change will be to aircraft interiors, where flyers of all classes will immediately spot new flooring, paneling, and reupholstered seats.
As well as a physical overhaul, the airline plans to upgrade entertainment systems, adding a “Cinema in the Sky” experience, complete with a bespoke app. In addition, better meal choices will reflect changing dietary preferences, including a new vegan menu and a nod to sustainability — though there will remain a strong luxury vibe to the proceedings, as the company has entered an exclusive agreement to offer Dom Perignon vintage champagne on board, as well as delicacies such as Persian caviar.
Though many of the improvements may seem trivial, Emirates is hoping that along with a huge cabin overhaul, their overall flight experience will continue to make travel a pleasurable experience, elevating their service above the competition.