retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The Associated Press reports that Amazon has spent an undisclosed amount to buy 11 jets from Delta and WestJet, intending to use them to improve its fast-expanding delivery network that competes with the likes of FedEx and UPS.

It is, the story says, the first time that Amazon actually has bought jets - normally it leases jets for its fleet.

“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,” said Sarah Rhoads, Vice President of Amazon Global Air. “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.”

All of the planes are Boeing 767-300s, and will be converted to hold cargo instead of passengers.

Bloomberg adds, "A report last year estimated that Amazon’s fleet would likely grow to 200 aircraft in the coming years, rivaling UPS in size. Amazon operates mostly from smaller, regional airports close to its warehouses, routing packages between locations to accommodate quick delivery.

"The deals announced Tuesday mark the second time Amazon has taken advantage of the depressed market for aircraft since the Covid-19 pandemic crippled air travel and sent many aircraft into storage. In June, Amazon said it was leasing an additional 12 planes. As with the leased planes, the newly purchased aircraft will be operated by contractors."

KC's View:

Every time I see a gray Amazon delivery truck come down my street, I think about how it would be completely natural for it to carry products other than those sold by Amazon.  I have to imagine that this is in the cards before too long, and the same thing goes for its planes.