A unique fleet of aircraft is fueling the explosive growth of e-commerce as consumers turn to online shopping during the pandemic and retailers promise faster-than-ever delivery times.
And while air travel remains signifcantly lower due to COVID-19, some former passenger aircraft are avoiding early retirement by finding a second life moving cargo. Logistics giants, meanwhile, are using the airline industry’s downturn to grow their fleets by acquiring aging passenger aircraft for a fraction of what they’d sell for new.
Amazon, for example, bought 11 Boeing 767-300ER passenger aircraft from Delta Air Lines and Canada’s WestJet in January for cargo conversion. While the pandemic had rendered the planes obsolete for flying passengers, they’re now prime candidates to fly packages instead.