Amazon Air is expanding its cargo operations in Europe with two Amazon-branded Boeing 737-800 freighter aircraft based at Leipzig/Halle Airport (LEJ) in Schkeuditz, Germany.
Amazon’s expansion into Europe comes as the online retailer looks to bring more freight operations in-house, reducing its reliance on outsourcing to companies like UPS and FedEx.
While Amazon has seen its business expand during the current COVID-19 global pandemic, it has also been taking advantage of a depressed market for aircraft.
Back in June, the Seattle-based e-commerce company said it was leasing 12 converted Boeing 767-300 passenger planes to its fleet.
Amazon will employ 200 at Leipzig/Halle
Amazon Air will run a 20,000-square-meter regional air hub at Leipzig/Halle airport in Germany, with two branded Boeing Co. 737-800 freighters flown by ASL Airlines, the company said in a statement.
The facility will employ 200 people and help expand Amazon’s regional capacity in Europe. Leading the team that will sort, load, and unload parcels and packages from trucks to the planes is former Amazon Leipzig Fulfillment Center general manager Dietmar Jüngling.
In a statement published on the companies blog, Jüngling said, “We appreciate all the support of the community in embracing these operations and the long-term economic impact and job creation opportunities we will bring to the region. We have been hard at work to build and train a team to build our air cargo network in the region while maintaining a safe working environment. Our objective is to ensure we are able to support the changing needs of customers during this challenging time and beyond.”
In addition to the millions of items Amazon has delivered to people’s doorsteps during the coronavirus, Amazon also has transported Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for all its European employees. The PPE for Amazon associates included 29 million face masks, 100,000 thermometers, and three million gloves.
When speaking about Amazon’s increased capacity Saxony President Michael Kretschmer said, “It speaks clearly in favor of Saxony as a business location that Amazon continues to invest heavily in Leipzig and is opening its new freight center here at the airport. This creates state-of-the-art jobs for a large number of skilled workers. I am sure that the Amazon Air regional hub will attract more innovative companies to the region to settle here. Companies and end customers benefit from strong, reliable supply chains. And how important these are has become particularly evident during the corona pandemic.”
LEJ is Germany’s second largest freight airport
Goetz Ahmelmann, the CEO of Mitteldeutsche Flughafen AG, also chimed in saying that his team is delighted to have won another well-known logistics company for Leipzig/Halle Airport.
He added that the airport is a very special hub in European freight traffic for Amazon Air. The company continue to invest heavily and expand its position. It feels that the move will benefit the region and Germany as a whole.
About Amazon Air
Formally known as Amazon Prime Air, Amazon Air is a cargo airline dedicated to moving the online retailer’s freight to different regions of the United States and worldwide.
Currently, Amazon Air leases all its aircraft from other air freight companies and has, according to Planespotters.net, 65 aircraft with an average age of 24-years.
The Amazon Air fleet comprises 21 Boeing 737-800 aircraft plus the two Boeing 737-800s that will be operated by ASL Airlines on behalf of Amazon Air in Europe. Amazon’s other aircraft are 44 Boeing 767-300s, with more set to arrive in the coming months.
While many businesses, including airlines, have been hit hard during the current medical emergency, Amazon Air is thriving as this latest expansion shows.