Amazon Makes First Purchases of Aircraft to Speed Delivery

Amazon for the first time purchased aircraft in an effort to speed delivery of packages to customers.
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Amazon  (AMZN) - Get Report said that it made its first purchases of aircraft as part of its effort to speed delivery of packages to customers.

The Seattle tech and online-retail giant said it bought 11 Boeing  (BA) - Get Report 767-300 aircraft, which will join its network by 2022.

Amazon, which typically leases its fleet to enable one- and two-day delivery, will buy seven used aircraft from Delta Air Lines  (DAL) - Get Report and four used aircraft from WestJet Airlines, the company said.

The move comes as Amazon is benefiting from the surge in online shopping amid the coronavirus pandemic and social-distancing guidelines.

“Our goal is to continue delivering for customers across the U.S. in the way that they expect from Amazon, and purchasing our own aircraft is a natural next step toward that goal,” Sarah Rhoades, vice president at Amazon Global Air, said in a statement.

“Having a mix of both leased and owned aircraft in our growing fleet allows us to better manage our operations, which in turn helps us to keep pace in meeting our customer promises." 

The four aircraft purchased from WestJet in March are undergoing passenger-to-cargo conversion and will join Amazon Global Air in 2021. The seven aircraft from Delta will join Amazon’s air network in 2022, the company said.

Amazon said it would continue to rely on third-party carriers to operate these aircraft.

In June, Amazon leased 12 aircraft to take its fleet total of leased planes to more than 80. 

Amazon's cargo air fleet was launched in 2016.

Stock of the company at last check traded little changed around $3,191.