Domino’s demos drone delivery: Pizza, not pie, in the sky

Welcome to the flying pizza!

Welcome to the flying pizza! Dominoes has announced plans for what it claims will the world’s first commercial drone delivery service – in New Zealand and with CAA approval.

The service is being developed in conjunction with US-based Flirtey, a startup formed to commercialise drone delivery. It has made its debut in front of transport minister Simon Bridges and CAA executives.

Domino’s said: “The demonstration was conducted under Civil Aviation Rules Part 101 and marks a final step in Flirtey’s approval process, following which the partnership will aim to connect people with pizza via CAA-approved trial store-to-door drone deliveries from a selected Domino’s New Zealand store with flights to customer homes later this year following the beginning of daylight saving.”

The company said it chose New Zealand as the launch market because NZ regulations “allow for businesses to embrace unmanned aircraft opportunities, which enable the gradual testing of new and innovative technologies.” It said the drone delivery services was being designed to work alongside Domino’s current delivery fleet and would be fully integrated into online ordering and GPS systems.

Domino’s Group CEO and managing director, Don Meij, said: “We are planning a phased trial approach which is based on the CAA granting approval, as both Domino’s and Flirtey are learning what is possible with the drone delivery for our products but this isn’t a pie in the sky idea.”

He added: “These trial deliveries will help provide the insight we need to extend the weight carried by the drone and distance travelled. It is this insight that we hope will lead to being able to consider a drone delivery option for the majority of our orders.”

The company said it was looking at opportunities for drone delivery trials in its six other markets – Australia, Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Japan and Germany.

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