Amazon in talks to take to the skies with own air arm

Amazon in talks to establish in-house air freight operation using 20 Boeing 767 cargo planes.
Amazon wants to speed up deliveries with its own in-house air freight operation.
Amazon wants to speed up deliveries with its own in-house air freight operation.

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The online retail behemoth Amazon.com is in negotiations to lease nearly two dozen cargo planes to establish its own air freight operations, according to the Seattle Times.

The company’s long-standing delivery partners UPS and FedEx have found it increasingly difficult to keep up with Amazon’s growth in volumes, while Amazon is becoming ever more focused on shortening delivery times.

The company is already establishing its own several thousand strong fleet of delivery trucks, and recently unveiled its new hybrid drone, which can delivery packages to customers’ lawns.

Amazon this month added a further 4,000 products to its Prime Now service, with guarantees delivery within an hour of purchasing across 20 metropolitan areas in the United States.

Amazon has also been negotiating with several companies including Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Air Transport Services Group Inc., to purchase and convert older Boeing 767 passenger jets into cargo planes.

Amazon hopes to phase in the planes in the coming three years, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Amazon started running a trial air freight service out of Wilmington, Ohio, in September. Amazon plans to make a final decision on the cargo operation by the end of January, The Seattle Times reported.

There is also speculation Amazon could launch a fully-fledged air freight subsidiary, offering delivery operations for other companies, putting it in competition with former partners FedEx and UPS.

"I believe they are serious about looking at this," said a leasing executive, who asked not to be named because he may later do business with Amazon. "They are not going to hang about."

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