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Amazon Air begins first cargo service in India

Two planes that will provide Amazon Air service India were unveiled at a hangar in Hyderabad, India, by Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao, minister of municipal administration and urban development in the state of Telangana. Photo courtesy of Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao/Twitter
Two planes that will provide Amazon Air service India were unveiled at a hangar in Hyderabad, India, by Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao, minister of municipal administration and urban development in the state of Telangana. Photo courtesy of Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao/Twitter

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- Amazon Air expanded its service area on Monday, becoming the first e-commerce company with its own dedicated cargo service in India.

Amazon India will utilize two Boeing 737-800 cargo planes to deliver packages quickly throughout the country, a press release from Amazon said. The planes were unveiled at a hangar in Hyderabad, India, by Kalvakuntla Taraka Rama Rao, minister of municipal administration and urban development in the state of Telangana.

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"Telangana offers a conducive environment for the development of multi-modal connectivity and I take great pride in the fact that Hyderabad has emerged as a major hub for e-commerce distribution and supply chain activities," he said.

Telangana is also home to Amazon's largest campus, an Amazon Web Service center, and its largest fulfillment center in Asia, according to Rama Rao.

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India's is the third service area for Amazon Air. There are an estimated 1.1 million Amazon sellers in the country, Amazon said. The company has fulfillment centers in 15 states and distribution centers in 19.

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Amazon Air began in the United States in 2016 and later expanded to Europe. It operates 110 aircraft bringing shipments to 70 locations.

Quikjet Cargo Airlines will operate the Amazon Air aircraft. It is a freight and cargo solutions company based in Delhi and Hyderabad.

"Hyderabad has emerged as a major hub for e-commerce distribution with its strategic geographic location, improved domestic air network, and the increasing popularity of e-commerce in the country," said Akhil Saxena, vice president of customer fulfillment for Amazon.

Online retail accounted for about 44% of India's e-commerce in 2020, the International Trade Administration reports. E-commerce is a $46.2 billion industry. By 2026 it is projects to grow to $136.7 billion annually.

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