After taking advantage of the convenience store closure, Amazon is benefiting from airline losses. During the Covid-19 pandemic, these slowed down, causing aircraft prices to fall. On January 5, 2020, Amazon Prime Air announced in a press release the purchase of eleven Boeing 767-300s to complete its fleet of more than 80 aircraft.
This is a great first for Amazon, which had previously leased its planes. “Having a mix of leased and purchased aircraft in our growing fleet will allow us to better manage our operations, which will help us keep our promises to our customers,” the vice president said in the statement. Amazon Global Air President Sarah Rhoads.
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Of the 11 aircraft, seven were purchased by Delta Air Lines and the remaining four by WestJet Airlines. WestJets are being redeveloped for freight traffic and will join the Amazon Prime Air network in 2021. Delta aircraft will join the cargo network in 2022. In both cases subcontractors will be responsible for the operation.
The aim of the operation is to further shorten delivery times while reducing dependency on delivery agents such as UPS. “Our goal is to continue to offer our US customers what they expect from Amazon, and buying your own aircraft is a natural step in that direction,” says Sarah Rhoads.
In September 2020, Amazon Prime Air received FAA approval to provide a drone delivery service. In November the company announced the launch of an airport connection platform in Germany. The march towards autonomy in terms of delivery is making great strides. In the coming years, Amazon Prime Air’s fleet is expected to exceed 200 aircraft, corresponding to that of FedEx.