Technology

Amazon Gets Serious About Air Delivery, Buys 11 Boeing 767s

E-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) on Tuesday announced its first-ever aircraft purchase as it expands its Amazon Air fleet. The company said it will purchase seven Boeing 767-300s from Delta Air Lines and four more from WestJet. The four WestJet planes will join the Amazon Air fleet this year and the Delta planes will enter service next year.

Currently, Amazon leases all the airplanes in its fleet and operates the planes under contracts with other providers. The company’s main aircraft and operations suppliers are Atlas Air Worldwide, Air Transport Services, Southern Air (a subsidiary of Atlas), and Sun Country. In Tuesday’s announcement, Amazon said it would continue to use its current suppliers to operate the 11 company-owned planes.

Amazon began adding to its fleet in 2019 after FedEx cut its ties with the Seattle-based company. Earlier this year, Amazon added nine more leased aircraft to its stable between the months of May and July. According to fleet data compiled by Planespotters, Amazon’s current fleet of Boeing 737s and 767s totals 73 aircraft. Of those, 59 are in service (21 737s and 38 767s), seven are parked, six are on order and one is listed as “historic.”

Atlas Air operates 17 of the 767s, and Air Transport operates 21, while Southern operates eight of the 737s, Sun country operates 10 and the remaining three are operated by ASL Airlines in Ireland.

The average age of the planes in Amazon Air’s current fleet is 24 years, with the 767 averaging 27.1 years old and the 737s 17.8 years. Amazon did not specify the ages of the planes it will be buying over the next couple of years.

In a study published last September, researchers estimated that Amazon’s fleet would rise to around 200 aircraft by the end of this year. The total is coming into focus, especially since the pandemic has created some bargains in used aircraft as some carriers look to invest in new planes.