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Amazon air cargo takes to the skies

IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao urges Amazon Air to onboard more sellers from Telangana, especially artisans and handloom weavers

January 23, 2023 06:57 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:15 am IST - HYDERABAD

Industries and IT Minister K.T.Rama Rao with members of the senior leadership of Amazon and others at the induction ceremony of an aircraft for the e-commerce firm’s air cargo service in Hyderabad on Monday. Photo: Special Arrangement

Industries and IT Minister K.T.Rama Rao with members of the senior leadership of Amazon and others at the induction ceremony of an aircraft for the e-commerce firm’s air cargo service in Hyderabad on Monday. Photo: Special Arrangement

E-commerce major Amazon on Monday launched Amazon Air, a dedicated air cargo network to enable faster deliveries to customers in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Hyderabad.

Quikjet Cargo Airlines, with whom it has partnered, will operate two Boeing 737-800 aircraft to transport shipments to the four cities, VP-Customer Fulfilment (APAC, MENA and LATAM) Akhil Saxena said at the induction ceremony of an Amazon-branded aircraft here in which Telangana Industries and IT Minister K.T. Rama Rao and others participated.

Amazon is the first e-commerce firm in India to partner with a third-party air carrier to provide a dedicated air cargo network, Mr. Saxena said during an interaction. Thus far dependent on commercial airlines, for air shipments, launch of Amazon Air will now offer the firm flexibility, in terms of flight timings, visibility of tracking every shipment as well as ability to provide customers more time to order and get deliveries next day. “This will be beneficial for customers who start shopping at the end of day or after their office hours,” he said.

Since the global launch in the U.S. in 2016, Amazon Air has become a fleet of 110 aircraft and connects to 70 destinations worldwide. Amazon India, whose network comprising 11 lakh sellers; 50 fulfilment centres, in 15 States, with a total capacity of 43 million cubic feet; as well as sorting facilities in 19 States, moves bulk of shipments on road. Since 2019, it has started using railways too.

On the air cargo service and taking it to more cities, he said 20,000 shipments will be sent per flight. “We will consider other cities when there is demand,” he added.

Addressing the event, the Minister said the launch from Hyderabad comes on the back of a growing engagement and investments of Amazon in Telangana. Hyderabad hosts Amazon’s largest campus globally; home to the firm’s largest fulfilment footprint in Asia; and AWS had last year announced $4.4 billion investment for setting up data centres. The Amazon Air launch here is the first outside of the U.S. and Europe.

Assuring support for Amazon’s programmes, he urged the firm to onboard more sellers from Telangana, especially artisans and handloom weavers.

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