In a virtual signing ceremony, Ethiopian Airlines Group and Aero HygenX executives, inventors of Ray – an autonomous aircraft sanitisation robot – signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) outlining a plan for fleetwide deployment and regional marketing of Aero HygenX’s autonomous UV-C light disinfecting robot.
The signing of this MoU marks a first foray into the African market for Aero HygenX, a Canadian technology company with its safe, efficient, and chemical-free solution designed for aircraft cabins and rail cars. Ethiopian Airlines has become the first African carrier to roll out the technology that takes aviation safety to the next level.
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, a statement from the airline said.
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 the carrier. The purpose of the Innovation Hub collaboration is to optimise the product and determine where else in the re-travel chain the disinfection technology can be useful.
Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Tewolde GebreMariam said: “As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, aircraft disinfection and safety are top priorities for us. We feel a deep responsibility to re-assure travellers and set an example by investing in sustainable hygiene solutions that will benefit not only our staff and passengers but also the entire region.
“Aero HygenX has demonstrated competence and ingenuity with the Ray autonomous disinfecting robot, and we look forward to implementing the solution as soon as possible.”
In addition to the airline's ‘safety first' policy and the increasing number of safety conscious travellers, the MOU signed with HygenX will help it attract more customers and recover quickly.
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.
Mahin said: “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.”
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.

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