Amazon is officially launching its Air operations in India in partnership with Quikjet – a Bengaluru-based company – as part of its effort to keep expanding its footprint in this Asian market, the tech-focused magazine TechCrunch reported this morning.
The firm will use Boeing’s 737-800 cargo aircraft for the job and will help merchants deliver goods in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, and Bengaluru. Amazon Air – a business unit that made its appearance in the United States roughly 6 years ago – aims to become a leading logistics solution for vendors across the world.
The company’s plans include providing air transportation services covering over 70 global destinations. In 2019, Jeff Bezos, the founder and former CEO of the e-commerce giant, said that the company had invested $1.5 billion to create a 3 million square feet air hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.
India is reportedly the fifth largest market by revenue for Amazon (AMZN) according to data from Innovell.
Amazon Air started to offer its services in the United States by leasing around 40 aircraft from Atlas Air – a long-dated partner of the firm that has provided air delivery services for its cargo.
According to the official career website of Amazon Air, the unit currently has operations in 35 airports within the United States and it is a crucial puzzle piece in the company’s two-day delivery promise. In October 2020, operations were also officially launched in Germany at the Leipzig-Halle Airport.
Amazon Commences Drone Deliveries in California and Texas
Roughly a decade after the visionary founder of the world’s most successful e-commerce platform outlined his plans to make Amazon’s deliveries airborne, the company’s Prime Air service – which is powered by drones – has started to operate in the states of California and Texas.
“Our aim is to safely introduce our drones to the skies. We are starting in these communities and will gradually expand deliveries to more customers over time”, an Amazon spokesperson commented during an interview at a local radio station back in December last year.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) cleared Amazon’s Prime Air service to operate “during daylight hours up to five days per week”. The agency approved a maximum of 50 delivery flights per day for each of the four sectors that the drones will initially cover. The cities of Lockeford, California and College Station, Texas were selected to receive the first drone-delivered packages.
The drones are guided to drop off customers’ packages in their backyards. The company said that even though the MK27-2 drones are considered autonomous, they will be overseen by humans to make sure that the packages are delivered to the correct locations.
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The firm is already working to develop a new generation of delivery drones – a.k.a. the MK30 unit – as their predecessor has run into trouble during the testing phase. The enhancements that Amazon plans to make to the small-scale aircraft include the possibility of carrying heavier weights, reducing noise, and increasing altitude.
“To sustainably deliver a vast selection of items in under an hour, and eventually within 30 minutes, at scale, drones are the most effective path to success”, the company stated in a blog post published in November last year.
Amazon Keeps Making Strategic Decisions Despite the Economic Headwinds
Amazon recently announced that it will be letting approximately 18,000 workers as part of an ongoing effort to better position the company for an upcoming global economic slowdown.
The announcement comes roughly two years after the company was forced to aggressively increase its headcount to respond to a spike in the demand for its products and services during the pandemic.
“As we head into 2023, we remain in uncertain economic times. Therefore, we’ve determined that we need to take further steps to improve our cost structure so we can keep investing in the customer experience that attracts customers to Amazon and grows our business”, the Chief Executive Officer of the e-commerce giant told its staff in a memo sent earlier this month.
However, Amazon does not plan to back down from some of its most ambitious projects including ramping up its delivery system to reduce the time that it takes for shoppers to get their goods.
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