Amazon’s Air network is to expand after it announced at the Paris Air Show today it will lease 15 Boeing 737-800 Converted Freighter aircraft from GE Capital Aviation Services (GECAS) which will enter its network by 2021.
These aircraft will be in addition to the five Boeing 737-800’s already leased from GECAS and announced earlier this year. The aircraft will fly in the United States out of the more than 20 air gateways in the Amazon Air network.
“These new aircraft create additional capacity for Amazon Air, building on the investment in our Prime Free One-Day program,” said Dave Clark, senior vice president (SVP) of worldwide operations at Amazon. “By 2021, Amazon Air will have a portfolio of 70 aircraft flying in our dedicated air network.”
“We’re delighted to support Amazon Air’s dedicated air network,” said Richard Greener, GECAS cargo’s SVP. “The capability of the 737-800 freighter will further Amazon’s ability to provide reliable and regional delivery to its customers for years to come.”
Amazon Air’s operation launched in 2016 supporting package delivery to the rapidly growing number of customers who love fast delivery, affordable prices and vast selection. With advanced algorithms and software used for capacity and route planning, the Amazon Air operation can transport hundreds of thousands of packages per day.
Amazon will open new air facilities this year at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, Wilmington Air Park, and Chicago Rockford International Airport.
The e-commerce giants main air bub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will open in 2021.
Since its launch, Amazon’s air cargo operation has invested millions of dollars and created thousands of new jobs at locations across the U.S.
Amazon has launched several initiatives to ensure fast delivery speeds and supply chain capacity for its customers, including its Delivery Service Partner program, Amazon Flex, the company’s mobile application that allows individuals to sign-up, be vetted and begin delivering for Amazon, a dedicated network of over 10,000 trailers to increase trucking capacity and, now, the expanded fleet of cargo aircraft.
These efforts join Amazon’s robust worldwide network of more than 185 fulfillment centers where the company uses high-end algorithms, robotics, machine learning and other technological innovations to increase delivery speeds for customers. Amazon is now bringing the same technological expertise to efforts in the transportation space to increase shipping capacity for customers.
Launching the 737-800 passenger-to-freighter conversion program in 2016 and delivering the inaugural BCF less than one year ago, GECAS has plans to convert at least 50 of this type, providing the capacity for the growing need for cargo air transport.
The aircraft are equipped with a rigid cargo barrier and have 12 main deck pallet positions. The aircraft have a maximum structural payload of 23,500 kg (51,800lb) and a maximum range of over 2,100 nautical miles.