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On Tuesday, the company announced that it had purchased 11 Boeing 767-300 aircraft. The purpose of this investment is to amplify its consistently-developing delivery network and deliver orders to customers more quickly.
The company purchased seven aircraft from Delta and four aircraft from WestJet. In a press release, Amazon said all of the planes will be added to its delivery fleet by 2022.
“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 in the 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.”
Currently, Amazon is using leased airplanes as part of its delivery fleet. According to a report by Bloomberg, the company expects to have more than 85 planes in service by 2022.
The e-commerce giant is currently converting the passenger aircraft Amazon purchased from WestJet into cargo jets and those are slated to join Amazon Air’s network this year. The seven planes purchased from Delta will be added to the air cargo network next year.
A 2020 report stated that the company will likely increase its fleet of aircraft to 200 in the near future, which could allow it to rival United Parcel Service (UPS) in terms of air cargo services. In 2019, FedEx ended its ground shipping contract with Amazon, as the shipping firm increasingly viewed Jeff Bezos’ company as competition.
The company will continue to employ third-party contractors to operate the aircraft, as they currently do with the leased planes.