Amazon to work with Atlas Air

Amazon is ramping up its air freight capabilities with a new long term relationship with the contract air freight company Atlas Air.

The online giant will use 20, B767-300 converted freighters and the contract, according to a statement on the Atlas Air website is designed to “support fast deliveries for Amazon’s customers”.

As part of the deal, Amazon has also been granted rights to acquire equity in Atlas Air Worldwide (AAWW).

Atlas Air does not have all the aircraft that Amazon needs and is about to do some shopping of its own – it will be looking to buy converted aircraft to meet the needs of its new customer and business partner. The contract is due to begin in full within two years, presumably allowing Atlas to buy up the aircraft it needs to fulfil the demands of its new customer.

One of the interesting things about this deal is that once again, Amazon is going head to head with one of the companies it used to use for deliveries – DHL. One of Atlas Air’s biggest customers, accounting for 27% of its air freight, is DHL. DHL is also using the only B767-300 air freighter that is owned by Atlas at present.

As previously reported, Amazon agreed a deal with Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) earlier this year. This deal also involved the leasing of 20 Boeing B767 aircraft and Amazon took a 10% share of ATSG. Where Atlas starts in 2018 the ATSG contract begins much sooner than that.