easyJet made the announcement during a pan-European event at Italy's Milan Malpensa Airport, easyJet's second largest base after London Gatwick. The airline says the tests prove that pre-programmed drones could help reduce the number of hours (in comparison to a manual inspection) an aircraft is out of service after events such as lightning strikes.
easyJet aims to bring the drones into service in its engineering bases across Europe within 12 months. The airline, which carries more than 66 million passengers annually, flies on more than 750 routes to over 130 airports across 31 countries.
easyJet first announced the drone-inspection initiative about a year ago. CEO Carolyn McCall says the company has now made “great strides on [its] work with drone technology,” which helps support the “aim of eliminating technical-related delays.”