SEATTLE – Today, at a special media event, Amazon Air confirmed the service-entry schedule for the remaining freighter-converted 767 freighters it has contracted New York-based Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings (AAWW) and Ohio-based Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) to operate on its behalf. Next week, Atlas Air will put three more aircraft into service for Amazon, bringing the number of aircraft in operation for Amazon to 38. The last two of the 40 committed aircraft are currently undergoing conversion to freighter configuration, and will enter into service with Atlas Air, to be operated on behalf of the e-commerce giant before Thanksgiving.
Once these five aircraft enter service, Amazon’s own-operated fleet will consist of 40 aircraft – 20 operated by Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) subsidiary carriers, ATI International and ABX Air, and 20 operated by Atlas Air. These relationships date back to agreements inked in March and May of 2016, respectively.
Amazon Air – not to be confused with Amazon Prime Air, which is the drone exploration arm of the company – hosted an event today at the Museum of Flight, launching “Amazon Goes Gold,” a campaign to raise awareness for childhood cancer. The event displayed an Amazon Prime 767 with fresh “Goes Gold” livery, pictured, displaying the slogan: “Because kids can’t fight cancer alone.” A $10,000 donation was also made by Amazon to the Seattle Children’s Hospital for their efforts to fight childhood cancer.
Air Cargo World sat down with director of Amazon Air, Sarah Rhoads, to ask about Amazon Air’s outlook into 2019.
“We’re working on developing our own plans out of Cincinnati,” Rhoads said, referring to the company’s US$1.5 billion hub near Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG), which was announced in early 2017. The news marked a move away from its project at Wilmington Air Park (ILN).
In January of this year, the company’s senior vice president of worldwide operations, Dave Clark, confirmed plans of the acquisition of an additional 210 acres of land at the hub via Twitter. From CVG, Amazon Air’s operations now touch 18 domestic air fields, according to Rhoads.
“The actual number of flights is still in the planning process right now,” Rhoads said when asked of details regarding future network and destination plans, adding“if next year is anything like that past two years, I’ll expect we’ll continue to grow.”
Even as Amazon’s airlift partners edge closer to fulfilling their contractual obligations to the company, pilots represented by Teamsters Local 1224, who fly on behalf of Amazon, have complained that the e-commerce giant’s growing relationship with their airline has led to deteriorating working conditions.