Amazon Takes To The Skies

It’s a question Bezos must ask himself all the time – why lease a jet when you can own one?  Or eleven.

The e-commerce giant announced yesterday it has bought 11 used Boeing 767-300 jets from Delta and WestJet – the first time it has ever purchased (vs. leasing) aircraft. 

Airborn Amazon

Careful to not ruffle feathers, Amazon has historically been vocal about its reliance on shipping companies like UPS and FedEx. 

But according to an analysis by The Verge, as of last year Amazon was delivering roughly half of its own packages.

And during the pandemic Amazon has enhanced its logistics apparatus that increasingly resembles the largest freight companies in the world:

  • Amazon first launched its air fleet, known as Prime Air, in 2016.  In the coming years, Bloomberg predicts Amazon’s fleet will grow to roughly 200 owned and leased aircraft.
  • Amazon’s $1.5 billion Kentucky air hub, which has capacity for 200 flights per day, is slated to open this year. 

They Love A Deal:  While the financial details of Amazon’s plane purchase were not disclosed, consulting firm Ascend by Cirium estimated prices for Boeing 767-300 jets have come down roughly 15% during the pandemic.

The Takeaway: Amazon was also recently given approval by the FAA to operate as a drone airline in the U.S.