Could Amazon soon add B777 freighters to its fleet?
18 / 10 / 2021
By Damian Brett
Ever since Amazon launched its US domestic freighter operation in late 2015 there has been speculation that the company could one day expand into intercontinental operations.
If a recent report from Bloomberg is correct, that speculation could soon turn into reality. A report from the news wire last week suggested that the e-commerce giant has been in talks to acquire or lease 10 second-hand A330-300Fs and an unknown number of B777Fs.
While the airline does already operate widebody B767Fs that could be used on intercontinental services, the e-commerce company has so far restricted them to flights in North America.
If it were to acquire aircraft such as B777Fs these would more likely be used on operations to Asia or Europe rather than on domestic duties given their range and cargo capacity of around 100 tonnes.
Given the capacity shortages being faced by the air cargo industry and the general supply chain chaos caused by the Covid-pandemic, the move would appear to make sense – it would secure a base of cargo capacity for the company all year round.
Amazon has also placed great importance on the fast delivery of products to customers, ensuring there are no supply chain delays is essential in order to live up to this promise.
And a lack of capacity at peak times appeared to be one of the reasons Amazon decided to launch its domestic airline in the first place, moving away from the likes of FedEx and UPS.
Pricing is another consideration, the current sky high airfreight rates make the proposition more attractive from a cost perspective, with several retailers and forwarders announcing their own charter operations.
The company has rapidly expanded its fleet and air infrastructure over the last few years.
From its starting point in 2015, Amazon Air’s fleet – operated by lessor partners such as Atlas Air, ABX, ATI, Sun Country and CargoJet – now stands at 73 aircraft.
It recently opened a super hub in Cincinnati CVG and added its first European flights using Leipzig/Halle as a hub.
Since the start of the year, the company has increased its flight activity by 17%.