Amazon Buys Passenger Jets from Delta, WestJet to Carry Cargo

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos during the JFK Space Summit at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, Wednesday, June 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
AP Photo/Charles Krupa

Amazon announced this week that it is purchasing Boeing airliners from Delta and WestJet and converting them from passenger planes to cargo jets to assist with a surge in online shopping. Amazon’s purchase of 11 Boeing 767-300 passenger jets is a sign of both its increasing dominance in the American economy as well as the airline’s struggles in the era of lockdowns.

According to a report by CNBC, Amazon has purchased 11 Boeing passenger jets from Delta and WestJet to accommodate increased e-commerce demands. The former passenger jets will be outfitted by Amazon to carry packages around the United States.

Amazon will own at least 85 planes from the end of 2022 after launching its air fleet just a few years ago. The company is purchasing more than just additional planes. It will open a $1.5 billion hub for its planes in Kentucky later in 2021.

Sarah Rhoads, vice president of Amazon Global Air, said that Amazon’s growing fleet will help them meet increasing demands from customers.

“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 with meeting our customer promises,” Rhoads said.

The Boeing 767 planes purchased by Amazon are approximately 20-years-old. Aircraft consultant Rob Morris told CNBC this week that each plane is worth as much as $14 million. Despite Amazon’s purchase, Delta announced recently that it will retire all of its Boeing 767-300 planes by the end of 2025.

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