Amazon.com launched an air cargo service in India on Monday called Amazon Air, in a bid to ramp-up deliveries amid fast-growing e-commerce sales.
The company has invested in Indian cargo carrier Quikjet to exclusively transport packages for Amazon across four major Indian cities, an executive said.
The move to use a dedicated cargo service will give Amazon tighter control over costs and flight schedules while reducing delivery times across a wider range of products, Sarah Rhoads, the vice president of Amazon Global Air said.
“When we use a dedicated network … we have more transparency with the cost, we control the negotiations and we drive the schedule to make sure we are making the most efficient use of the assets,” Sarah Rhoads, vice president, Amazon Global Air told said.
“We want to deliver the majority of shipments in two days or less and Amazon Air enables that.”
Third region for Amazon Air
India is the third market, after the United States and Europe, where the company has launched Amazon Air.
The Seattle-headquartered firm, which started the service in 2016 in the United States, operates a network of more than 110 jets that fly to over 70 locations worldwide.
Quikjet, a Bengaluru-based freight carrier which is a unit of Europe’s ASL Aviation, already operates one plane for Amazon and from Tuesday will begin its second across cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.
ASL operates several aircraft for Amazon in Europe, Rhoads said.
Rhoads said Amazon, the books-to-boots online retailer which competes with Walmart-owned Flipkart in India, will expand its fleet based on the success of its two planes.
Amazon, which uses its own ground delivery services for shipping, also partners with Deutsche Post DHL Group controlled Blue Dart Express Ltd, one of India’s biggest air cargo carriers.
- Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard