Amazon diversifies with debut aircraft acquisition

Amazon has expanded its Amazon Air business through the acquisition of eleven Boeing 767-300 aircraft.

The fleet, which includes seven aircraft from Delta Air Lines and four from WestJet Airlines, represents Amazon’s debut air fleet acquisition.

The planes will join the Amazon Air cargo network in 2021 and 2022, with third-party carriers continuing to operate the aircraft.

Sarah Rhoads, vice president at Amazon Global Air, said: “Our goal is to continue delivering for customers across the US in the way that they expect from Amazon, and purchasing our 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 in meeting our customer promises.”

While the deal will originally have an impact solely on the firm’s US operations, it has been deemed a significant step forward in Amazon’s aim to become a major player in the global air freight industry.

Gonzalo de la Mata, head of international and global agency development at the Amazon consultancy Molzi, said via the BBC: “The platform is now likely to be a larger supply chain provider than either FedEx or UPS in just a few years, with the potential to launch as an independent carrier in the US – and then perhaps globally.”

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