Amazon Bulks Up Its Air Force as It Expands One-Day Delivery

The e-commerce behemoth expects to have a fleet of 70 aircraft by 2021
Updated: Tue, 06/18/2019 - 07:49
  • The e-commerce behemoth expects to have a fleet of 70 aircraft by 2021

Amazon is partnering with GE Capital Aviation Services to lease another 15 Boeing 737-800 cargo aircraft by 2021 as part of its continuing efforts to expand its fast, free shipping to customers, including its Prime Free One-Day delivery program.

The additional aircraft will add to the five Boeing jets already leased through GE Capital Aviation, a world leader in commercial aircraft leasing and financing. Amazon’s air network now includes 20 U.S. air gateways, with plans to open new air facilities this year at Alliance Airport in Fort Worth, the Wilmington Air Park in North Carolina and Chicago Rockford International Airport. The main hub for Amazon’s air network will come online in 2021 at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

“These new aircraft create additional capacity for Amazon Air, building on the investment in our Prime Free One-Day program,” says Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations at Amazon. “By 2021, Amazon Air will have a portfolio of 70 aircraft flying in our dedicated air network.”

E-commerce giant Amazon is working to translate online orders into real-world deliveries at a faster pace going forward, with plans to make one-day delivery the standard for members of its Amazon Prime program. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to invest $800 million in the second quarter of this year to move toward that goal.

Our goal is to evolve the two-day free shipping program into a one-day free shipping program, and we’re making strides on that,” Amazon Chief Financial Officer Brian Olsavsky said during an earnings conference call. “We expect to make steady progress quickly and through the year.”

He added that the company plans to use “all available levers” to accomplish the one-day-delivery goal, including bulking up its internal resources and its third-party carrier network. Olsvasky added that most of the money being invested in the second quarter in ramping up to a one-day standard delivery for the Prime program is “starting in North America, but this is intended to be a global improvement in speed tied to our Prime program.” The Amazon Prime program offers members perks such as Amazon Prime Video, free shipping and value deals and other services for $119 a year.

“With advanced algorithms and software used for capacity and route planning, the Amazon Air operation can transport hundreds of thousands of packages per day,” the company said in a statement announcing the cargo-jet leasing deal.

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