Amazon has leased 12 Boeing 767-300 converted cargo aircraft from Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), as the e-commerce giant and other package delivery specialists adapt to meet the changing needs of customers by investing in ways to provide fast delivery.
These cargo planes join Amazon’s existing fleet of 70 aircraft to bring its network to more than 80 aircraft. One of the new Boeings joined Amazon’s air cargo operations in May, with the remaining 11 to be delivered in 2021.
Amazon Air’s fleet expansion comes at a time when people in communities across the country continue to adjust to an unprecedented time, with many relying on having the items they need delivered directly to their doorstep. The company said Amazon Air has played a central role during the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for Amazon associates, frontline health workers and relief organizations across the U.S., while maintaining capacity for regular cargo operations to ensure customers continue to receive the items they need.
“Amazon Air is critical to ensuring fast delivery for our customers, both in the current environment we are facing and beyond,” Sarah Rhoads, vice president of Amazon Global Air, said. “During a time when so many of our customers rely on us to get what they need without leaving their homes, expanding our dedicated air network ensures we have the capacity to deliver what our customers want–great selection, low prices and fast shipping speeds.”
Rich Corrado, president and CEO of ATSG, said the companies’ combined experience and access to a fleet of 767 cargo aircraft make his firm “an ideal partner to support the growth of Amazon Air’s fleet.”
Amazon continues to expand on-the-ground operations in addition to aircraft. The company will open new regional air hubs at Lakeland Linder International Airport in Florida later this summer and at San Bernardino International Airport next year, along with the central Amazon Air Hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 2021.
In May, Amazon Air began gateway operations at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, and Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Since Amazon Air’s launch in 2016, it has invested hundreds of millions of dollars and created thousands of new jobs at Amazon Air locations across the U.S.
Last month, UPS announced it was expanding its express air network to Gary/Chicago International Airport starting Nov. 2, in time for the peak holiday shipping season and as next-day air volume has increased.
The airport will be served by a UPS Airlines Airbus A300 that has a maximum payload of more than 120,000 pounds and can carry more than 14,000 UPS Next Day Air packages.
Nationwide, Next Day Air average daily volume grew 20.5 percent in the first quarter of 2020, the fourth consecutive quarter of double-digit increases, UPS noted.
In February, DHL Express said it would receive six new Boeing 777F-200 cargo aircraft this year as part of the company’s effort to operate with higher efficiency, while meeting the increasing global demand for express logistics service.
In 2018, DHL ordered 14 new Boeing 777F, with four delivered in 2019, six to come this year and the remaining four to be taken into service in 2021.