October 21, 2021
Aero HygenX and Ethiopian Airlines Group have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining a plan for fleetwide deployment and regional marketing of Aero HygenX’s autonomous UV-C light disinfection robot, RAY. The MoU signing marks a first foray into the African market for Aero HygenX, a Canadian technology company offering aviation companies a safe, efficient, and chemical-free solution designed for aircraft cabins and rail cars.
The two companies said they will establish local final assembly capabilities for the RAY robot, creating local employment opportunities and expediting rollout of the solution for Ethiopian Airlines. The MoU also sets out to foster exchange of expertise and ideas between Aero HygenX and the Ethiopian Airlines Innovation Hub, which leads innovation activities across Ethiopian Airlines. The collaboration will further optimize the product and determine other locations in the chain where the disinfection technology can be useful.
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, aircraft disinfection and safety are top priorities for Ethiopian Airlines,” said Tewolde GebreMariam, group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines. “We are one of the few global carriers that has been successful in combating the adverse effects of COVID-19 and we are proud to have been recognized by international humanitarian organizations for our commitment in the global fight against the virus. Aero HygenX has developed a phenomenal technology that enhances biosafety onboard – in accordance with our ‘Safety First’ policy – and will help Ethiopian attract more customers for a speedy recovery from the pandemic.”
Aero HygenX was formed in January 2020 by a group of “self-proclaimed aviation ‘geeks’ (aka enthusiasts) with strong backgrounds in technology and aviation,” the company said. In March 2020, RAY was introduced to market and the first production line units were delivered to customers in April 2021. The company said it has customers across Canada, the U.S., the Middle East, and now East Africa.
The compact and lightweight autonomous robot uses motion sensing technology to navigate cramped spaces (such as aircraft cabins) and disinfect surfaces quickly, safely and without the use of harmful chemicals, using UV-C light. The company said RAY can disinfect a narrow body aircraft (such as a B737 or A320) in as little as seven minutes, and can also be used to treat lavatories, so airlines can fully sanitize an aircraft after every flight. Unlike other disinfection robots, the RAY unit does not require a crew member to move it through the cabin, the company said. RAY can be optimized for various aircraft types and comes equipped with HygenX Stream, customisable software that records and transmits usage data wirelessly to the cloud, providing valuable system health monitoring and status updates to the operator.
For more details on Aero HygenX, visit its website here.