San Francisco: Just after losing air-shipping contract of global courier company FedEx amid competition, e-commerce major Amazon has added 15 cargo aircraft to its fleet in the making, aiming to reach 70 planes by 2021.
"At the International Paris Air Show, the company announced a partnership with GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) to lease an additional 15 Boeing 737-800 cargo aircraft. These aircraft will be in addition to the five Boeing 737-800's leased from GECAS," the company wrote in a blog post on Tuesday.
The aircraft would fly in the US out of over 20 air gateways in the Amazon Air network. "These aircraft create additional capacity for Amazon Air, building on the investment in Prime Free One-Day programme," said Dave Clark, Senior Vice-President of Worldwide Operations at Amazon.
Earlier in May, to expand its airborne ambitions, Amazon announced $1.5 billion investment for building three million square-foot Prime Air airport outside Cincinnati in Kentucky as a parking place for 100 cargo jets.
The company's plans have initiated a direct competition with the likes of logistic majors, like FedEx and UPS in the US. In June, in a strategic decision, FedEx Express refused to renew Amazon's contract being used for air transportation of packages.
Currently, Amazon oversees a massive warehouse, Air Hub and cargo freight logistics network in addition to its growing network of Flex personal delivery drivers, employed using an Uber-like contract model.
"Amazon will open new air facilities this year at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Wilmington Air Park and Chicago Rockford International Airport. The main Air Hub at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky International Airport will open in 2021," the blog post added.