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Amazon buys jets from airlines to bolster deliveries

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Amazon has invested heavily in boosting its distribution network even before Covid-19 caused a surge of business.

San Francisco

AMAZON on Tuesday announced that it bought jets from a pair of airlines, bolstering its delivery network as online shopping booms and travel withers during the pandemic.

The e-commerce colossus launched its air shipping division four years ago, but had previously relied on leased jets.

The Seattle-based company said that it bought 11 Boeing 767-300 aircraft, seven of them from Delta and four from WestJet.

"Our goal is to continue delivering for customers across the US in the way that they expect from Amazon, and purchasing our own aircraft is a natural next step towards that goal," Amazon Global Air vice-president Sarah Rhoads said in a release.

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"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 in meeting our customer promises."

The aircraft purchased from WestJet are being converted from handling passengers to cargo and will become part of Amazon's fleet this year, according to the company.

The jets bought from Delta are not expected to be put to work in Amazon's fleet until 2022.

Amazon Air is expanding globally and incorporating the use of sustainable aviation fuel and ground equipment powered by electricity from solar panels, according to the company.

Amazon has invested heavily in expanding and strengthening its distribution network, starting long before the Covid-19 pandemic caused a surge of business at the e-commerce titan's platform.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 risks have crushed the travel industry, causing airlines to consider selling off aircraft to reduce costs and bring in cash. AFP

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