Alphabet’s drone delivery unit Wing plans to swoop into Irish market

12 Oct 2022

A Wing delivery drone. Image: Wing

The company is planning a ‘limited drone delivery demonstration’ in a community near Dublin and said this is a ‘first step’ for its plans in Ireland.

Alphabet is testing out its drone delivery service Wing in Ireland.

A Wing spokesperson told that it is planning a “limited drone delivery demonstration” in a community near Dublin. The company is currently engaged in outreach with local stakeholders before the trial is launched.

“We believe consultation with the local community before launching any sort of drone delivery service is important, and that process is underway now,” the spokesperson said.

They added that Wing envisions the limited demonstration as a “first step” for the company’s ambitions in Ireland.

“We’re encouraged by the progress on drone regulations we’ve seen in the EU, and Ireland has a strong drone ecosystem that makes it an attractive location for us,” the spokesperson said. “We’ve already begun the process of recruiting talent in the area, and we’re excited to join the thriving drone community there.”

Wing began in 2012 as a project at X, the experimental moonshot division of Google parent company Alphabet, and the first real-world deliveries took place in 2014. It became an independent Alphabet business in 2018 and currently operates in Australia, Finland and the US.

The company delivers a range of products such as medicine, food and books, with more than 200,000 flights completed by the start of March this year.

Ireland’s drone market is growing, with one of the key players being homegrown drone delivery start-up Manna.

Founded in 2018, this start-up has been trialling its technology across Ireland since 2019, partnering with Just Eat, Tesco, Samsung and more.

The Irish start-up secured $25m in a Series A round last year. In August, the company announced plans to expand internationally while also eyeing a launch in a Dublin suburb with a population of 100,000.

The company already operates a pilot in Balbriggan, Co Dublin, with the aim of providing fast and low-carbon deliveries of food and groceries to the 35,000-strong community.

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Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic