Home Cargo Amazon places more freighters with Sun Country Airlines

Amazon places more freighters with Sun Country Airlines

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Amazon Air has placed an additional eight Boeing 737-800 freighters with Sun Country Airlines as it deepens its partnership with the Minneapolis-headquartered carrier.

The amended air transport service agreement means Sun Country, which operates in the US and the Americas, will now operate a total of 20 737-800 freighters on behalf of the e-commerce giant.

Meanwhile, the length of the CMI agreement has been extended by five years to 2030 with a series of three options that if exercised would extend the deal through to 2037.

The first additional aircraft is expected to begin service in the first quarter of 2025 and all eight aircraft are expected to be operational by the third quarter of 2025.

“Amazon is an extremely important customer to Sun Country and strong execution on our current cargo services positioned us well to grow our business. We look forward to continuing to provide services to Amazon into the 2030s,” said Jude Bricker, chief executive, Sun Country.

The move comes after Atlas Air earlier this year said it was backing out of operating 737 freighter aircraft on behalf of Amazon.

Atlas has been operating both 737 and 767 freighters for Amazon for a number of years, but these deals will now end next year.

Atlas reasoned that it wanted to concentrate on operating widebody freighters on long-haul markets.

Meanwhile, Amazon has been simplifying its domestic US network over the past year, according to a report issued earlier this year by the Chaddick Institute.

The changes have seen the carrier utilise larger aircraft – such as  A330-300 operated by Hawaiian and more 767s operated by ATSG – and consolidate operations at fewer hubs.

In the process, the percentage of the fleet comprised of 737 or smaller planes has fallen from 38% to 33% over the past year (as of March).

The carrier also stopped using ATR-72 turboprops over the last year and reduced the number of airports it flew to.

The report said that the move to a hub and spoke operation and away from point-to-point flying brings its strategy closer to that of express giants UPS and FedEx.

“Amazon Air’s network has gradually grown to be more like that of FedEx and UPS,” the report stated. “These air cargo integrators have long been hub-centric, with nearly identical schedules day after day (except for weekends and holidays).

“Their networks have been gradually fine-tuned to maximise their versatility for guaranteed delivery the next morning or afternoon. Amazon is pursuing a similar strategy in North America. More than four in five Amazon Air flights (80.5%) within the US mainland operate to or from its five largest hubs, up from 65.6% in early 2021.”

Sun Country first started operating aircraft for Amazon in May 2020 after the two companies struck a 10-aircraft sublease deal, which was later extended by two more aircraft.

Cargo revenue from its Amazon agreement increased about 2.5% in the first quarter, year-on-year, to $24m.

Hawaiian Airlines takes second A330-300P2F for Amazon

Amazon Air expands capacity and simplifies network

The post Amazon places more freighters with Sun Country Airlines appeared first on Air Cargo News.

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