Amazon is leasing more planes so it can deliver packages on its own
By Chris Isidore, CNN Business
(CNN) -- Amazon's fleet of cargo jets is getting larger, as it expands plans to deliver more of its packages itself.
The online retailer announced it will lease an additional 15 cargo planes from GE Capital Aviation Services. The deal was announced Tuesday at the Paris Air Show.
Amazon has been stepping up efforts to handle more packages fully on its own. The company is buying vans so more deliveries to customers' doors can be made by independent contractors rather than providers such as the US Postal Service, United Parcel Service and FedEx. Earlier this month FedEx announced it wouldn't renew its US contract with Amazon to transport packages on FedEx Express.
This lease, along with five other jet leases announced earlier this year, means Amazo will have 70 freighters in its fleet by 2021, according to the company. The aircraft will fly out of 20 different US airports as part of Amazon Air, the company's air cargo operation.
These planes are an original model of the 737 passenger jet being converted to cargo use -- they are not the 737 Max jet that has been grounded due to safety concerns. GECAS announced a deal with Boeing Monday to convert more planes from passenger to cargo use.
Amazon started leasing cargo jets in 2016. It is also in the process of building a main air hub on 210 acres at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport. That hub is set open in 2021.
Earlier this year a cargo jet operated for Amazon by Atlas Air crashed near the airport in Houston, killing all three crew members aboard. The cause of that crash is still under investigation.
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