Amazon buys first-ever planes for air freight expansion

Amazon has purchased its first-ever planes to join an existing fleet of leased aircraft.

The purchase of the planes further expands Amazon's position in the logistics space, representing a significant move for the retailer.

Amazon consultancy Molzi's Gonzalo de la Mata told the BBC that Jeff Bezos is "using logistics as a secret weapon," adding that the online platform is likely to become an even bigger supply chain provider than either FedEx or UPS in a few years.

The retail giant has acquired 11 aircraft, which will all join its Amazon Air network by next year.

“Our goal is to continue delivering for customers across the U.S. in the way that they expect from Amazon, and purchasing our own aircraft is a natural next step toward that goal,” said Sarah Rhoads, vice president, Amazon Global Air. “Having a mix of both leased and owned aircraft in our growing fleet allows us to better manage our operations, which, in turn, helps us to keep pace with meeting our customer promises.”

Four aircraft, which were purchased from WestJet in March, are currently undergoing passenger-to-cargo conversion and will join Amazon Air’s network in this year.

Seven aircraft bought from Delta will enter Amazon’s air cargo network in 2022.
Amazon will rely on third-party carriers to operate the new aircraft.

Third-party carriers will operate all of the new aircraft.

The purchase is part of a wider expansion of Amazon Air, which was launched in 2016.

In 2020, Amazon opened its first-ever international air hub at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany and launched regional air operations across a multitude of airports in the US.

Since its launch, Amazon has invested hundreds of millions of dollars into Amazon Air.

The retail giant purchased six million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel last year, and said it has already invested in “cutting-edge electric ground service equipment, ” with solar rooftop panels planned at some facilities.

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