In a virtual signing ceremony which took place October 12th, executives from Ethiopian Airlines Group and Aero HygenX, signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining a plan for fleetwide deployment and regional marketing of Aero HygenX’s autonomous UV-C light disinfecting robot, RAY.
The signing of this MoU marks a first foray into the African market for Aero HygenX, a Canadian technology company taking aviation by storm with its safe, efficient, and chemical free solution designed for aircraft cabins and rail cars.
It is the intent of the two parties to establish local final assembly capabilities for Aero HygenX’s autonomous UV-C disinfecting robot “RAY”, thus creating local employment opportunities and expediting rollout of the chemical-free, pathogen-killing solution for Ethiopian Airlines. The MoU further sets out to foster exchange of expertise and ideas between Aero HygenX and the Ethiopian Airlines Innovation Hub, which leads all innovation activities across Ethiopian Airlines. The purpose of the Innovation Hub collaboration is to further optimize the product and determine where else in the retravel chain, and indeed the wider region, Aero HygenX’s leading disinfection technology can be useful.
Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines, commenting on the partnership said:
“As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, aircraft disinfection and safety are top priorities for 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 international humanitarian organizations for our commitment in the global fight against the virus. With the signing of this MoU, we continue our investment in sustainable hygiene solutions that will benefit not only our staff and passengers, but the entire region. 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.”
In Ottawa, CEO Arash Mahin signed for the Aero HygenX team and was accompanied by the firm’s Executive VP of Business Development Peter Bahraini, as well as Executive VP of Engineering, Kris Rupay.
“This understanding with Ethiopian Airlines is very exciting for our whole team and we are truly grateful for their trust and support,” commented Arash Mahin, Aero HygenX CEO. “At Aero HygenX, we want to help aviation get back on its feet as quickly as possible, and for that to happen we must work globally. A global problem requires a global solution and we’re thrilled that, together with Ethiopian Airlines, we can bring thorough, efficient, and safe pathogen-killing technology to this region.”
Aero HygenX was formed in January 2020 by a group of self-proclaimed aviation “geeks” (aka enthusiasts) with strong backgrounds in technology and aviation. In March 2020 RAY, the only fully autonomous UV-C disinfecting robot, was introduced to market and the first production line units were delivered to customers in April 2021. Already, the company has customers across Canada, the USA, the Middle East, and now East Africa.
Designed for the transportation industry, RAY is a compact and light-weight autonomous robot which 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.
RAY has the ability to disinfect a narrow body aircraft (such as a B737 or A320) in as little as seven minutes and can also be used to treat in lavatories so airlines can fully sanitize aircraft after every flight. Unlike competing disinfection robots, the RAY unit does not require a crew member to move it through the cabin. Furthermore, RAY can be optimized for various aircraft types and comes equipped with HygenX Stream, a customizable software that records and transmits usage data wirelessly to the cloud, providing valuable system health monitoring and status updates to the operator.
UV-C light has been used to effectively disinfect food, water, and air for decades. It is proven to destroy the pathogens that cause MERS-CoV, SARS-CoV1, Ebola, and SARS-CoV2 (and other serious viruses.)