US-based eCommerce company Amazon is purchasing 11 Boeing aircraft from US airline Delta and Canada’s WestJet as part of its rapid expansion of air cargo operation.
This expansion comes as Amazon continues to push for faster delivery amid a pandemic-fueled surge in online orders.
The company said that the 767-300 passenger jets will be transformed into cargo units. The four WestJet planes will join Amazon’s network this year, while the seven Delta planes will be added in 2022 after their conversion.
“The fleet additions will ensure there is added capacity for years to come,” the eCommerce firm added.
“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. 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 with meeting our customer promises.”
Amazon said in a statement, “The company has been steadily building up the fleet of planes dedicated to its Amazon Air cargo operations through leasing agreements but this announcement marks the first-ever outright aircraft purchase.”
Amazon, Delta, and WestJet refused to reveal the price of the flights, but as the pandemic decimated travel demand, the value of several aircraft plummeted this year.
The tech giant included that the aircraft it adds to its network is designed to “transport items across long distances in the shorter time frame”. Furthermore, the company said it would also continue to rely on third-party carriers to operate its aircraft.