(Bloomberg) -- Japan Airlines Co. has kicked off an unmanned drone service to deliver goods and medical supplies in a remote part of Japan that’s prone to heavy rains and landslides.

The carrier is working with local authorities in Setouchi town, a tiny inlet in Japan’s southwest that’s home to 8,000 residents. A FAZER R G2 drone will be deployed by Amami Island Drones Co. for the work, JAL said Thursday.

People living in the area normally rely on ships for their daily logistic needs. But those vessels are often stranded by rough waves and have to cancel their scheduled runs. The average age of residents in Setouchi town is 53.

While JAL has been conducting various drone experiments at different locations, this is its first commercial service for disaster relief and prescient for a nation that’s prone to weather-related catastrophes.

“There used to be a lag in grasping the situation when a natural calamity hit the town but with this service, local authorities will know sooner,” a JAL spokesperson said.

Read more: Japan to Allow 5G Access for Drones, Nikkei Says

Similar initiatives are underway elsewhere in Asia. Cross-border drone delivery services between Malaysia and Singapore, for example, may start for critical deliveries such as medical supplies and perishable food, local media reported earlier this month.

Amami Island Drones was established by JAL and Setouchi town in 2023. Initial trials of the service started in 2020.

JAL will provide operational support by offering its expertise in advanced drone operation and safety management, the airline said.

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