Amazon Air Cargo Service Launches in India • TechCrunch

Amazon has launched Amazon Air, its dedicated air freight fleet, in India as the e-commerce giant strengthens its logistics infrastructure in a key overseas market, where it has deployed over $6.5 billion.

The retailer has partnered with Bengaluru-based cargo airline Quikjet to launch the country’s first air freight service, which it says will allow it to accelerate delivery rate. Amazon, which is using a Boeing 737-800 for the service, said it will initially use Amazon Air for deliveries in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad and Bengaluru. An Amazon executive described the launch of Amazon Air as a “huge step forward for aviation” without explaining how.

Amazon Launched Air in the US in 2016 with more than three dozen Boeing cargo planes. It also briefly tested the program in the UK. India is the third market where Amazon has launched its freight service. The company says its fleet includes more than 110 flights across 70 destinations worldwide, and it has invested “hundreds of millions of dollars” in its air logistics capabilities.

(Amazon calls its air freight service Amazon Air, but it’s confusing to still use the Prime Air moniker on planes even as the latter now considers drone deliveries. )

The move to follow Amazon expanding the shipping and logistics network for third-party merchantsdirect-to-consumer businesses and brands in the country at the end of last year.

“Amazon India uses its own services to deliver around 80-85% of orders and has expanded its delivery arm to other sellers. Delivery in itself is an achievable business in India. So it makes sense for them to start this in India,” said Satish Meena, an independent analyst who tracks the e-commerce sector in the country.

India is one of Amazon’s key overseas markets. But the company is lags behind its main rival, Walmart-backed Flipkart, in the country. Last year, Amazon struggled to break into smaller cities and towns in India, said analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein.

The company also closed at least three business units – wholesale distribution Amazon distribution, Amazon Food delivery and learning foundation academy — in India last year.

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