Amazon.com Inc on Tuesday announced that it bought jets from a pair of airlines, bolstering its delivery network as online shopping booms and travel withers during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The e-commerce colossus launched its air shipping division four years ago, but had previously relied on leased jets.
The Seattle-based company said that it bought 11 Boeing 767-300 aircraft, seven of them from Delta Air Lines Inc and four from WestJet Airlines Ltd.
“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,” Amazon Global Air vice president Sarah Rhoads said in a release. “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.”
The aircraft purchased from WestJet are being converted from handling passengers to cargo and are to become part of Amazon’s fleet this year, the company said.
The jets bought from Delta are not expected to be put to work in Amazon’s fleet until next year.
Amazon Air is expanding globally and incorporating the use of sustainable aviation fuel and ground equipment powered by electricity from solar panels, the company said.
Amazon has invested heavily in expanding and strengthening its distribution network, starting long before the pandemic caused a surge of business on its platform.
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