Skymax drone attracts new investment

Following Skymax drone’s successful first trial flight between Comino and Ċirkewwa, the venture has now managed to attract a group of investors who are now in the process of committing capital and resources to the company


Following Skymax drone’s successful first trial flight between Comino and Ċirkewwa last June which carried a consignment of medical supplies, the venture has now managed to attract a group of investors who are now in the process of committing capital and resources to the company.

Skymax Ltd is a joint venture between QuAero Ltd and HandsOn Systems Ltd.

Capt. Alan Muscat and Capt. Karl Falzon from QuAero Ltd said that the transport and logistics sectors are going through a very dynamic phase where last mile deliveries are becoming increasingly crucial. Within this context, a service like ours can be an important differentiator that determines an operator’s competitive advantage.

“The news of this investor interest makes the prospect of take-off of this new service more real and greatly supports our business proposition especially given several agreements that we are about to conclude with key business account clients to offer a Malta - Gozo – Malta service,” they added.

The company already has access to a number of drone types, the use of which can be adapted according to the type of delivery. However, this new investment will also bring new skill sets which will now include telematics, tracking, people from different sections of the aviation industry, transportation and IT and traffic management.

“With our Skymax project, we aim to become major players within the growing drone-use ecosystem that the Maltese government is nurturing,” Geoffrey Farrugia from HandsOn Systems Ltd said. “This is also in line with our vision to build logistical highways in the sky to improve last-mile delivery effectiveness for businesses and to also act as an important stakeholder in the introduction of these means of transport in other critical areas such as the health sector.”

Falzon said that those showing interest in this service are feeling more encouraged by the fact that the sector is heavily regulated ensuring that any flights undertaken will only be allowed once all the necessary safety and risk assessment exercises have been completed and authorised by the Civil Aviation Directorate at Transport Malta.

The investors’ immediate objective is to operate a Malta-Gozo-Malta route, with multiple daily cargo delivery flights depending on the market’s demand. The company is already collaborating with a handful of drone suppliers to explore the operation of an array of services which would include hubbing, feeders and last mile deliveries. Various platforms exist and these vary in size, range, cargo payload and volume capabilities – each designed to operate in their own specific area of operation.

Deliveries through the use of drones are already a reality and Malta, given its proximities, lends itself as an ideal location for the application of this service both as a test bed and for the actual service that we are now about to start offering.

The company is also basing its success on the different skill sets ranging from telematics, its experienced pilots who hold thousands of hours in flight time who will essentially be overseeing the day-to-day operation, its transportation and traffic management capabilities which place the company in a position to make significant inroads in this new field, both at a local and international level.

“With sustainability dominating the corporate agenda, using a delivery service with no emissions should definitely make this option even more viable,” Muscat said.

With increased interest which is encouraging Skymax Ltd to look into offering a B2C service, the company is now planning more test flights over the next few months.

“These flights will purposely take place in a variety of weather conditions so as to add more reassurance to our clients that an uninterrupted service can be offered unless inclement weather conditions on the day exceed the operational limits of the UAV – a phenomenon that only happens a few days of the year,” Falzon said.

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