The e-commerce giant Amazon is set to expand its air cargo business segment to India. According to recent reports, we could see a new Amazon Prime Air launch operations in the south Asian country as soon as this month.
Amazon Prime Air is coming shortly to India
As reported by The Economic Times and ET Now, Amazon Prime Air is set to launch by the end of January. The soon-to-be Indian airline startup will exclusively carry packages for Amazon, creating its own overnight delivery network to cater to the growing Indian market.
If launched, India would become the first market outside the United States and Europe, where Amazon operates dedicated air cargo flights. It has been an incredible journey for Amazon Air, an airline that had its first aircraft, “Amazon One,” take to the skies back in 2016.
Photo: Lawrence Glass/Shutterstock.
The new airline will be operated by QuikJet, a Bengaluru-based cargo airline. QuikJet was founded in 2007 and currently operates a fleet of two Boeing 737-800(BCF)s with an average age of 22.3 years old.
Amazon Prime Air India would begin operations employing QuikJet’s fleet of two Boeing 737-800s. The plan is to increase the number of freighters to six by the end of this year. The Boeing 737-800BCF is quickly becoming highly popular globally as an option for freighter airlines. This plane has a maximum takeoff weight of 79,000 kg (174,200 pounds). It has a design range of 3,700 kilometers (1,995 nautical miles), and it is a more versatile option than Boeing’s 737-300SF. The aircraft has a cargo capacity of 24 tons.
According to data by ch-aviation, 102 Boeing 737-800BCFs are operated globally by 32 carriers. Worldwide ASL Airlines, Sun Country Airlines, and Atlas Air are the largest operators of this model. Each has 11, 12, and eight B737-800BCFs, respectively.
Amazon Prime Air’s fleet
In six years, Amazon Air has quickly become a staple of cargo operations for e-commerce giant Amazon. In this period, the airline has rapidly added many aircraft, and it currently has more than 110 planes in its global network. It has also launched facilities in North America and Europe, including its hubs at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in the United States and Leipzig/Halle Airport in Germany.
According to data by Planespotters.net, Amazon Prime Air currently has five ATRs, 30 Boeing 737s, and 56 Boeing 767s. Prime Air often subleases them to other cargo airlines such as Atlas Air, Sun Country Airlines, and ASL Airlines Ireland.
In October last year, Amazon Global Air Vice President Sarah Rhoads announced the company is adding ten Airbus A330-300s leased from aircraft lessor Altavair. These planes were undergoing a passenger-to-cargo conversion and are expected to enter the network of Amazon in late 2023. At the same time, Amazon Prime Air will begin phasing out some older aircraft. This fleet will be operated by Amazon’s newest partner, Hawaiian Airlines, the company announced.
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Source: The Economic Times, ET Now.