Amazon expands cargo network with first aircraft purchase
Amazon has announced its purchase of eleven used Boeing 767-300 aircraft, marking the first time the company has purchased planes instead of leasing them for its growing cargo network.
Amazon said that these aircraft will join Amazon Air’s cargo network in 2021 and 2022.
In a statement, Amazon Global Air Vice President Sarah Rhoads said that their goal is to continue delivering for customers across the U.S in the way that they expect from Amazon, and purchasing their own aircraft is a natural next step toward that goal.
“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,” Rhoads said.
The online retail giant announced that seven of the planes were purchased from Delta Airlines Inc. and four from WestJet Airlines Ltd. The aircraft from WestJet are currently undergoing passenger-to-cargo conversion and will join Amazon Air’s network in 2021, while those purchased from Delta will enter Amazon’s air cargo network in 2022.
These fleet additions will ensure added capacity in Amazon Air’s network for years to come, but Amazon said it will continue to rely on third-party carriers to operate these new planes.
According to a Bloomberg article, Amazon’s recent purchase marks the second time the online retail giant has taken advantage of the depressed market for aircraft since the Covid-19 crisis’ effect on air travel, sending many planes into storage. The article added that back in June, Amazon announced that it was leasing an additional 12 planes.
As the company continues to expand globally to meet the needs of its growing customer base, it said they are also investing in jobs and sustainable solutions to power its network. In 2020, Amazon Air announced its purchase of 6 million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel and has already invested in cutting-edge electric ground service equipment and solar rooftop panels planned at some facilities.