The e-commerce giant we all know, Amazon, wants to take the leap into the skies and has announced that it intends to have 70 planes by 2021, a fleet that will give it a similar weight to airlines such as the American low cost carrier Frontier. The main reason why Jeff Bezos’ company has launched to create Amazon Air is that it has broken the contract with FedEx, another giant – in this case of the distribution of parcels – with the aim of not depending on third parties, and thus lowering costs by using their own planes.
In 2015 the company began to rent cargo planes to reduce its dependence on carriers such as UPS, DHL and FedEx. These were not planes at its service on a permanent basis, but rather rented out at peak times. The popularity of Amazon’s “Prime” service means it has to be very quick on delivery times, so having its own fleet of aircraft gives it greater control over distribution given the huge volume of deliveries it makes every day.
Amazon Air started four years ago, when the company reached an agreement with the air leasing company Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) with the aim of deploying its fleet of aircraft in the United States. The project began with the rental of around twenty Boeing 767s under a five to seven year lease agreement.
In this way, with Amazon Air, the company reduces its dependence on other logistics operators by achieving greater control of its supply chain in order to speed up delivery times to its customers without triggering costs.
Air freight is one of the fundamental pillars of the logistics sector worldwide, with an increase of nearly 30% during the first months of the Covid 19 pandemic. The airlines dedicated to cargo transport are playing an important role during the health emergency caused by Covid 19, being of vital importance to transport medical equipment. Online shopping has also increased considerably and it is predicted that in 2026 Amazon will reach 100 million packages sent per day in the United States alone. For that reason they have already chartered five aircraft from GECAS and the next step they want to take is to buy 15 Boeing 737-800.
The aspirations of this e-commerce do not end here. Amazon has also initiated another project in order to have its own airport logistics hub, so as not to be at the mercy of other air delivery companies and consequently be able to deliver their packages more quickly. This hub will be located in Cincinatti, Ohio. The construction will be completed in 2021, and will be able to operate up to 200 cargo flights per day.
For the time being, all this logistics is aimed at the transfer of parcels and there are no intentions of launching commercial flights open to the public, but with Amazon, who knows?