Brazil's Embraer seals air cargo deal with drone company Elroy

SAO PAULO, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA said on Wednesday it has signed an agreement with drone manufacturer Elroy Air to expand its business into the automated commercial air cargo market.

“We believe the cargo market is prime for an autonomous aircraft,” Antonio Campello, president and chief executive officer of EmbraerX, the planemaker’s business subsidiary that is focused on innovation, said in a statement.

Dave Merrill, chief executive of Elroy, said in the statement that its Chaparral drone is able to operate without airports or charging stations and uses automated cargo loading.

Founded in 2016, Elroy has developed aircraft that can carry between 250 and 500 pounds (114 and 227 kg) over 300 miles (483 km). (Reporting by Carolina Mandl Editing by Paul Simao)