Amazon Air expands freighter operations during summer
23 / 09 / 2020
By Damian Brett
Amazon Air expanded its daily flight schedule by 27% over the summer according to a report issued by the Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.
The report, written by by Joseph Schwieterman, Jacob Walls and Borja González Morgado, said the e-commerce company has increased its daily flight activity from 85 flights per day on Thursday, April 23 to 108 flights on Thursday, August 20, a 27% increase.
Meanwhile, between May and July the company has expanded its fleet by nine aircraft to 51 freighters, with a further three planes joining the fleet since then.
“All of the nine planes added between May and July are operated by Sun Country Airlines, one of its newest contractors,” the report said. “Sun Country began flying a 10th new plane for Amazon in August.
“Then, this month, Southern Air and Air Transportation International began flying Amazon Air’s 11th and 12th new planes of 2020.”
The report also found that Amazon was continuing to decentralise its operation.
“As a result of Amazon Air’s continuing emphasis on point-to-point flying, the share of flights using its Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky (CVG) hub fell between April and August.
“The share of takeoffs and landings involving the three largest hubs similarly dropped. We anticipate its decentralised orientation to persist even after Amazon takes occupancy of its massive new CVG facilities next year.
“Amazon is not trying to build a coordinated network of connecting flights akin to that of FedEx and UPS and acclimated toward overnight sorting and shipping.
“Instead, it is creating a network designed to link warehouses and distribution centers to help position goods for rapid shipment to customers once an order is placed.”
The report also found that the company is operating international flights, although a minimal number.
It said that the airline often operates semi-regular flights between the US mainland and both Amsterdam Schiphol and Shanghai Pudong International (Shanghai) airports — facilities widely regarded as focal points for logistics in continental European and China, respectively. Serving these points is most critical to just-in-time restocking.
“We expect more flying to and from international points over the next several years. How quickly this occurs, however, is hard to predict,” the report states.