Amazon acquires 20% of Air Transport Services Group

Amazon has acquired a 20% stake in cargo airline, Air Transport Services Group, an airline that already operates part of Amazon’s air cargo division. The deal is said to be worth $131m. Air Transport Services Group said the purchase of the shares is contingent upon approval by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Once approved Amazon will own 19.5% of the airline. There is the potential for Amazon to exercise all its warrants which would mean it could own 39.9% in the future.

Air Transport Services Group’s boss, Rich Corrado, said earlier this year that the group expects to operate 46 aircraft for Amazon, mainly Boeing 767s, by the end of 2021, up from 33 at the end of 2020.

Earlier this year, Amazon purchased its first aircraft outright, buying 11 Boeing 767-300 jets to join a fleet of leased planes.

The move shows Amazon’s clear intent to ramp up its air freight operations and boost its own air cargo capacity. By operating its own fleet the giant is less reliant on third-party logistics partners to move goods such as UPS’ air freight services. It is also building an air cargo hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

Source: Air Transport Services Group and Middle East Logistics