On the way to become more independent from its contractors, online retail giant Amazon Air is expected to have doubled in fleet size by June 2021.
Between May 2020 and June 2021, the Amazon aircraft fleet is expected to have doubled in size, according to the report by DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development published on February 16, 2021.
“As new airplanes are added to the fleet, we anticipate the number of flights will grow to 160+ by June 2021,” according to the report. “If it reaches this milestone, Amazon Air will have approximately doubled in size in the 13 months between May 2020 and June 2021.”
Amazon Air’s flight activity grew by 15% between August 2020 and February 2021. Currently, in order to reach its ambitious one and two-day delivery targets, the company is operating an average of 140 flights a day.
During the pandemic, Amazon has been taking advantage of the market for aircraft and expanding its aviation logistics. In June 2020, they leased 12 additional Boeing 767-300 passenger planes from Air Transport Services Group, adding to an existing fleet of 70 aircraft. Additionally, to meet a growing demand of online orders, Amazon purchased 11 used Boeing 767-300 jets from Delta Air Lines and WestJet Airlines in January 2021.
In order to reduce its reliance from contractors such as UPS and FedEx, Amazon launched its air fleet in 2016. According to Amazon, by the end of 2022, Amazon Air fleet will have more than 85 leased and owned aircraft.
In November 2020, Amazon confirmed the launching of air cargo operations in Europe, handling the services at the Leipzig/Halle airport hub. It was the company’s first such expansion outside the US.
Amazon’s already existing US air hubs include airports in Texas, Puerto Rico, and Florida. The air carrier has plans to expand to San Bernardino International Airport in California and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 2021.