Lufthansa Aerial Services is expanding its aerial business to include drones, and it is turning to one of the top drone companies in the world to help them. The German airline has announced it has signed a deal with DJI to develop commercial applications. According to the company, the airline will utilize DJI’s drone and open onboard systems to integrate hardware and software, manage operations, and facilitate data analysis.
“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,” said Christian Hartmann, program director at Lufthansa. “This includes a variety of commercial applications such as for infrastructure inspection, measuring and monitoring purposes.”
Lufthansa has previously been looking into how drones can be used to help the company. Recently, it completed a pilot project with a wind-turbine manufacturer. The project used DJI equipment to inspect rotor blades on wind turbines. According to Lufthansa, this not only was a less-dangerous option and more time efficient, but the drone was also able to collect data that could be used for further analysis.
“Lufthansa Aerial Services is a perfect partner for DJI for joint market development of commercial UAV-applications,” said Martin Brandenburg, DJI’s European Marketing Director. “The feedback from Lufthansa’s clients is of great value for the further development of our products.”
The airline also hopes to utilize drones with thermal-imaging systems in order to perform day-to-day inspections of infrastructure, crops, and construction and extraction sites.
“Lufthansa will offer clients a one-stop UAV shop,” said 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.”