DJI, the world’s largest drone manufacturer, has signed an agreement with Lufthansa Aerial Services to collaborate on developing commercial drone applications.
The deal provides for Lufthansa Consulting, a unit of the airline, to use DJI drones to work on drone applications for key clients.
“Lufthansa Aerial Services is a highly-regarded company and a perfect partner for DJI in joint market development,” said Martin Brandenburg, DJI’s European marketing director. “The feedback from Lufthansa clients is of great value for the further development of our products.”
Lufthansa Aerial Services (LAS) has already used DJI equipment on some projects: the company sites a successful pilot project with a wind-turbine manufacturer, using drones to inspect rotor blades on wind turbines instead of putting workmen up on a steeplejack to do the same job. Using the drones provides benefits in addition to safety: collecting data that can be used to estimate maintenance and repair schedules.
LAS sees multiple uses for drone technology in their business: their commercial airline clients may be able to use them for infrastructure and equipment monitoring; other clients may use drones to monitor crops, mining, and construction projects.
“The market potential of commercial drone applications is growing inexorably thanks to the continuously improving regulatory situation and speed of technological progress in the market and innovation that DJI as the global leader has initiated. This includes a variety of commercial applications such as for infrastructure inspection, measuring and monitoring purposes,” says Christian Hartmann, program director of Lufthansa Aerial Services.
Saying that many clients prefer not to take responsibility for drone applications in-house due to the complexity of the technology, LAS sees an opportunity to take a leadership role in the industry.
“Lufthansa will offer clients a one-stop UAV-shop,” says Andreas Jahnke, Managing Director of Lufthansa Consulting. “This includes everything from application consulting and drone operation with data analysis, to training and certification of drone pilots at Lufthansa Flight Training, or even the provision of drone insurance solutions through Delvag, Lufthansa’s in-house insurer.”