Ireland-Based Manna Expands Its Drone Deliveries to a Second Dublin Suburb

Ireland’s premier drone delivery service is set to expand its operations to a second suburb just outside Dublin, the nation’s capital.  Manna, founded in 2018, already services roughly 35,000 customers in Balbriggan, a small suburb north of Dublin.  Its newest operation, planned for Blanchardstown’s 100,000- strong household market in the south, will set the stage for the company to expand its deliveries to Dublin itself.  The company then hopes to commence at scale deliveries nationwide by 2026.

Manna’s latest operation is being conducted in partnership with Ireland’s popular Mexican-themed fast food chain, Boojum.  The two companies have a shared appeal to young, hip and tech-savvy consumers, which makes their partnership a natural, officials at both firms say.

“Innovation is a core part of Boojum’s culture and has been since the early days of pioneering the Mexican dining market in Ireland,” notes David Maxwell, Boojum’s managing director. “As we grow, we’re always looking for ways to improve our offering and continue to delight our customers. What better way to take this to the next level than to partner with Manna Drone Delivery.”

Manna’s CEO, Bobby Haley, says demand for the company’s new drone service in Blanchardstown is unlike he’s ever seen.  After posting about the launch on various social media sites,  Manna has been inundated with requests from area consumers to be added to the company’s priority service list.

“People are driving up to the new Manna base in Dublin to ask us to enable their addresses for drone delivery,” Healy told the magazine Drone DJ recently.  “Never seen anything like this [kind of] pent-up demand for a product. It’s nuts.”

Manna’s dominance over Ireland’s expanding  drone delivery market hasn’t kept American competitors from joining the fray.  Last August, Wing, a subsidiary of Alphabet, with a long history of drone deliveries in Australia, announced it would be making retail deliveries near Manna in other Dublin suburbs.

Healy and Wing’s CEO, Adam Woolworth, even exchanged friendly banter on social media to showcase their two companies’ planned rivalry.

“Great news for Ireland,” Healey posted upon hearing of Wing’s plans.  “Once again our aviation policy puts us in a leadership position on the world stage. Looking forward to seeing Wing join us in the Irish skies. Exciting times!”

Woolworth quickly replied in kind.  “Thanks @realBobbyHealy! You’ve built an incredible foundation. Can’t wait to join Ireland’s thriving drone industry!” he said.

And the competition won’t be limited to Ireland.  Manna has established an operational base of its own in the expanding Dallas-Ft. Worth drone hub, not far from Wing’s in Frisco.  To support its operation, Manna received a major infusion of investment capital from Coca-Cola HBC, the parent company’s bottling distributor, to deliver food and store supplies to residents of Northlake’s Pecan Square, a sprawling private real estate development.

“We’ll begin with a single hub with less than 10 drones and grow our footprint as necessary,” Healy says. “This will be a smaller, less advanced version of our European operation, but we will show that our technology, vehicles and operations are safe and fundamentally compatible with US regulations.”

Manna enjoys strong regulatory support from civil aviation authorities in Ireland, but is still awaiting approval from the FAA to begin its North Texas operation in earnest, company officials say.  Manna conducted a trial delivery of chocolates, candies and other treats to Pecan Square children and their parents last October as part of local Halloween celebrations.

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