Amazon has bought planes for the first time to expand deliveries
Amazon has acquired eleven Boeing 767-300 planes in order to deliver more products to customers as the business grows. This is the first time Amazon has purchased its own planes, rather than leasing aircraft to shuttle its wares with its Amazon Air service.
As recently as 2016, there were only eleven jets in total in Amazon’s cargo air fleet (then known as Prime Air). According to Bloomberg, the cargo operation will have more than eighty-five planes in the fleet by the end of 2022. The acquisition of these first eleven aircraft gives us an indication of what they plan to do in order to reach the massive growth in the air fleet.
All of the aircraft being purchased are used, with seven of them coming from Delta Airlines and the remaining four from WestJet. They will be stripped and retrofitted to carry cargo, which will take some time to complete. The four WestJet airplanes are expected to enter service before the end of the year while the rest will only be ready for service in 2022. Amazon says that these new planes will be operated by contractors, as is the case with their current fleet of leased aircraft.
It has been reported that Amazon Air is likely to expand its fleet of aircraft to about 200, which puts it afoot with other courier services in the US like UPS. That being said, because of the size of the Amazon operation, the company has been clear that they will still rely on their couriers partners UPS and FedEx, even though it is rapidly and extensively expanding its own delivery capabilities. It is not only going to compete in the air, but also for the final kilometres to the customer’s door with their own delivery vans – they recently unveiled their upcoming fleet of electric delivery vans.