Amazon unveils cargo plane, first in fleet of 40 | The independent
Amazon is set to launch its first branded cargo plane on Friday, one of 40 fleets to be deployed as the e-commerce giant seeks to take more control of its delivery network.
The company has already started to take control of its air deliveries, leasing 10 dedicated planes since 2015, but it is the first to carry the brand in the colors of Amazon.
The plane, named Amazon One, was unveiled behind closed doors Thursday and will be officially presented on Friday with a flyby at the Seafair Air Show in Seattle, the tech company’s hometown.
“The creation of an air transportation network extends our ability to deliver exceptional delivery speeds to our Prime members for years to come,” said Dave Clark, senior vice president of global operations.
“I can’t imagine a better way to celebrate the inaugural flight than in our hometown at Seafair alongside Amazon employees and Seattle residents.”
Amazon has had issues with the reliability of air freight services. In 2013, it offered refunds to customers who received late Christmas orders after bad weather, and an increase in online shopping caused delays for its suppliers UPS and FedEx. Amazon did not say how this would affect its relationship with the two companies.
Analysts say it makes sense for Amazon to use an airline fleet it controls as another way to get its products to online shoppers drawn by fast delivery.
“It’s such a big online retailer,” said Satish Jindel, president of shipping consultant ShipMatrix. “There’s so much volume that if you have to add transportation for yourself, why would you pay a retail price when you can buy wholesale? It makes sense. ”
The Boeing 767 aircraft has the company’s name on its underside, “Prime Air” on its sides, and Amazon’s smile logo on its tail.
The company, which has seen its share price rise by more than 50% since its February low, has launched several initiatives to try to speed up deliveries.
In July, it launched an Uber-style mobile app that allows individuals to deliver for Amazon in the UK. The company launched its one-hour delivery service, Amazon Prime Now, in London in 2015. The company also took control of its own network of 4,000 trucks to increase transport capacity.
Founder Jeff Bezos said his ultimate goal is to use drones to deliver packages within 30 minutes for short trips. The plan took a step forward into reality in July when the government allowed Amazon to test the unmanned aircraft in UK airspace.