Amazon to Start European Air Cargo Operations

Amazon Prime Air is launching air cargo operations in Europe, the online retailer’s first such expansion outside of the U.S. as it looks to bring more freight operations in-house.

Amazon Air will run a regional air hub at Leipzig/Halle airport in Germany, with two branded Boeing 737-800 freighters flown by ASL Airlines, the company said in a statement. The facility will employ 200 people.

Operating its own aircraft will let the world’s largest e-commerce company offer “more flexible delivery options,” Amazon said. The company unveiled the air cargo service in 2016, reducing its reliance on United Parcel Service and FedEx.

Seattle-based Amazon has been expanding its aviation logistics unit, taking advantage of a depressed market for aircraft during the pandemic. In June, it announced the leasing of an additional 12 converted Boeing 767-300 passenger planes from Air Transport Services Group, adding to an existing fleet of 70 aircraft.

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