Online retailer Amazon confirmed the launching of air cargo operations in Europe. It is the company's first such expansion outside the US. 

Amazon’s first European Air hub is based out of the Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) in Germany. The airport was chosen due to its central location and expertise in airfreight operations. 

“Leipzig/Halle is already number two in the German airfreight business and number five in Europe. We will invest heavily to expand our position. This will benefit the region, but also the whole of Germany as a business location”, said Goetz Ahmelmann, chief executive of airport operator Mitteldeutsche Flughafen.

“The 20,000 m2 cargo facility at Leipzig/Halle Airport will create an additional connection within Amazon’s fulfillment network in Europe, bringing greater selection and more flexible delivery options at a lower price to Prime members”, Amazon said.

Amazon has been operating in the Leipzig region since 2006, where it has already created more than 1,500 jobs. The new hub would in addition generate more than 200 jobs. 

The company will operate two Boeing 737-800 freighters flown by ASL Airlines on behalf of Amazon Air in Europe. 

During the pandemic, Amazon has been taking advantage of the market for aircraft and expanding its aviation logistics. In June, they leased 12 additional Boeing 767-300 passenger planes from Air Transport Services Group, adding to an existing fleet of 70 aircraft.

Amazon’s already existing US air hubs include airports in Texas, Puerto Rico and Florida. With plans to expand to San Bernardino International Airport in California and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 2021.