Aramex and Odys Aviation Partner to Develop Cargo Operations in UAE and Oman
Aramex and Odys Aviation, a sustainable aviation company building hybrid-electric vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) aircraft, today announced a partnership to develop cargo operations in the UAE, Oman and further afield in the region.
Odys Aviation's state-of-the-art 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.
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 Aviation’ cargo aircraft and Aramex’s fleet management capabilities.
The first pilot programs will utilize Odys Aviation’s Laila aircraft (22 ft wingspan and 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. The teams will further work jointly to tailor Concept of Operations (CONOPS) that will develop Odys Aviation’s aircraft to serve specific local environments.
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, enhancing the company’s regional presence and providing more sustainable options for customers and partners based in the GCC to ship cargo regionally or internationally via the UAE.
Odys Aviation has recently included a significant presence at COP28 where the company’s focus was firmly on advancing the agenda around the decarbonization of the aviation industry.
The agreement also helps advance the UAE-U.S. Partnership for Accelerating Clean Energy (PACE), which was launched in November 2022 and aims to help catalyze $100 billion in clean energy and decarbonization projects by 2035.
Designed for short-haul routes, Odys Aviation’s aircraft will play a pivotal role in defining the future of electric flights in the region and is part of an effort by companies in the GCC to create a framework for coordination, collaborative efforts and information sharing to contribute to the UAE’s long-term sustainability vision.
James Dorris, Co-Founder and CEO at Odys Aviation, commented: “Our partnership with Aramex signals a steadfast commitment to launching a new generation of VTOL aircraft and we are grateful to be working with the future-focused team at Aramex to bring our vision to reality.
"Building on our announcement earlier in 2023 that Odys has partnered with the UAE Ministry of Economy's NextGen FDI program, we are excited to be able to continue our momentum in the region."
Alaa Saoudi, Chief Operating Officer - Express at Aramex, said: “We are delighted to partner with Odys Aviation, enabling us to jointly leverage our capabilities for cargo flights, encompassing both short-haul and long-range regional routes.
"This collaboration aligns perfectly with Aramex’s commitment to delivering innovative and environmentally friendly logistics solutions, along with our net-zero commitments.
"This partnership will open new horizons for efficient and eco-friendly logistics, as it is expected to cut up to 76 percent of carbon emissions on pan-GCC flights.
"Not only will this collaboration transform our cargo operations, but it will also make a significant contribution to a cleaner and greener aviation industry while symbolizing a new era in logistics—one that prioritizes sustainability and innovation.”
Angad Singh, Global Director - Innovation at Aramex, said: "VTOL cargo aircrafts will provide us with the operational edge for our B2B movements and B2C middle mile.
"The Aramex Innovation division has been a pioneer in deploying BOTs and drones as a part of our Future vehicle program. 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.