SEATTLE, Dec. 19 (UPI) -- Online retail giant Amazon.com is reportedly in negotiations to lease nearly two dozen cargo planes to establish its own air freight operations.
The company, long frustrated by dependance on national carriers, has been negotiating with several companies including Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings Inc. and Air Transport Services Group Inc., to convert older Boeing 767 passenger jets into cargo planes. Amazon hopes to phase in the planes in the coming three years, The Wall Street Journal reported.
In November, Motherboard reported a "mysterious client" believed to be Amazon started running a shipping service out of Wilmington, Ohio, on a trial basis. The air cargo operation, which started in September, is being run by Air Transport Services Group on a trial basis. Amazon plans to make a final decision on the cargo operation by the end of January, The Seattle Times reported. There is also speculation Amazon could open delivery operations for other companies, putting it in competition with FedEx and UPS.
"I believe they are serious about looking at this," said the leasing executive, who asked not to be named because he may later do business with Amazon. "They are not going to hang about."