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The company leased 12 new Boeing cargo jets from Air Transport Services Group (ATSG), bringing its total fleet to more than 80 aircraft. One joined the existing fleet in May and the other 11 will be delivered in 2021, the company said Wednesday.
"Amazon Air is critical to ensuring fast delivery for our customers – both in the current environment we are facing, and beyond," Amazon Global Air Vice President Sarah Rhoads said in a statement. "During a time when so many of our customers rely on us to get what they need without leaving their homes, expanding our dedicated air network ensures we have the capacity to deliver what our customers want: great selection, low prices and fast shipping speeds."
The tech giant has seen unprecedented demand during the coronavirus pandemic and even had to temporarily limit sales to essential items only when confirmed cases of the virus in the U.S. spiked in March and April. Nonessential sales have since resumed.
Amazon said expanding cargo capacity will help meet continued demand and its growing customer base.
"We are proud to continue to evolve our partnership with Amazon to support the fast, free delivery for which they are famous," ATSG President and CEO Rich Corrado said in a statement. "Our combined experience in the industry and access to a fleet of 767 cargo aircraft make us an ideal partner to support the growth of Amazon Air’s fleet."
Amazon will open new regional air hubs at Florida's Lakeland Linder International Airport this summer, and at San Bernardino International Airport next year. The company's new central air hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport will open in 2021.