Amazon is looking for large cargo planes to supplement its existing aviation and maritime logistics operations, according to Bloomberg citing people familiar with the matter.
The company is seeking refurbished Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-300 long-haul aircraft for freight operations to enable it to transport cargo across continents. Currently, Amazon operates smaller Boeing 737s and larger 767 cargo planes nationally and does not appear to have any plans to move the larger 767 planes to aid in international operations.
The long-haul Boeing 777-300ER and Airbus A330-330 planes would allow Amazon to move large amounts of cargo between continents, including importing goods directly from China.
Bloomberg sources say Amazon is looking for ten Airbus A330-300s and crews to fly them. He is also interested in an unknown number of Boeing 777-300ERSF freighter, nicknamed “The Big Twin”, which will become the biggest freighter in the sky when it is launched in 2022.
The Boeing 777-300ERSF will slowly replace an aging fleet of Boeing 747 freighters that have carried cargo around the world for decades for many air cargo operators.
Global aspirations of Amazon Air?
Amazon’s expansion towards long-haul cargo planes may also mark the first step towards building a global Amazon Air cargo network connecting countries and continents, and not just supplier flights.
In August, Amazon opened its U.S. domestic air hub at Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky International Airport, where it previously shared ramp operations with DHL Express. The company also operates a new European air network using Leipzig, Germany as an air hub.
Amazon’s two airline hubs are also Super Hubs for DHL, suggesting that Amazon plans to partner with DHL to help it connect its two “home” airline networks. But that may now have changed somewhat.
If Bloomberg’s report is correct, it looks like Amazon will expand its own air networks as soon as possible with long-haul air cargo capacity. In addition to offering cargo flights from supplier countries like China, Amazon could also take advantage of the new planes to fly between its two air hubs.
This could be another important indicator that the company plans to eventually become a logistics competitor of UPS and FedEx by offering transportation and possibly delivery services to external shippers.
Amazon is already moving air mail for the US Postal Service to the United States.
Therefore, offering their air freight services to others would not be overkill, as no one likes to fly near empty planes. Amazon is all about being efficient and will find ways to fill these planes no matter where they go.
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