Amazon Air announced its purchase of 11 Boeing 767-300 aircraft on Tuesday, expanding its fleet to serve growing demand.
The purchases include seven aircraft from Delta Airlines and four from WestJet. Amazon Air said its fleet expansion comes at a time when customers are relying on fast, free shipping more than ever.
“Our goal is to continue delivering for customers across the U.S. in the way that they expect from Amazon and purchasing our own aircraft is a natural next step toward that goal,” Sarah Rhoads, vice president of Amazon Global Air, said. “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.”
Amazon Air plays a central role in delivering for customers by transporting items across longer distances in shorter time frames. The four aircraft purchased from WestJet in March are currently undergoing passenger-to-cargo conversion and will join Amazon Air’s network in 2021, and the seven aircraft 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, the e-commerce giant said. The company will continue to rely on third-party carriers to operate these new aircraft.
Last year, Amazon launched its first air hub at Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany and new regional air operations at Lakeland Linder International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Richmond International Airport, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport, Kahului Airport, Kona International Airport, Los Angeles International Airport and Louis Armstrong International Airport.
In July, Amazon leased 12 Boeing 767-300 converted cargo aircraft from Air Transport Services Group. This summer, Amazon Air also purchased six million gallons of sustainable aviation fuel and since Amazon Air’s launch in 2016, the company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars and created thousands of new jobs at Amazon Air locations across the U.S.
Amazon is also turning to unmanned drones to expedite delivery. It received clearance from the FAA to move forward with the initiative in September.
In August, DHL Express and Boeing contracted for four 767-300 Boeing Converted Freighters as part of DHL Express’s ongoing efforts to modernize and expand its air fleet with cost-efficient and reliable freighters. The companies said the 767 freighter fleet boasts the lowest direct operating costs, best payload-to-weight ratio and allows airlines to develop new opportunities in the long-haul, regional and feeder markets.
Since 2019, DHL Express has also added 14 top-of-the-line fuel-efficient Boeing 777Fs to replace older 747-400s. DHL Express operates more than 260 dedicated aircraft with 17 partner airlines on more than 3,000 daily flights across 220 countries and territories.