Minnesota's Sun Country Airlines adds 10 aircraft in Amazon deal
SEATTLE's e-commerce giant Amazon
SEATTLE's e-commerce giant Amazon.com has signed a six-year deal with Minnesota budget carrier Sun Country to deliver packages in Amazon Air-branded aircraft, reports London's FlightGlobal.
Sun Country Airlines said Amazon will sublease 10 Boeing 737-800s to the carrier, which will then operate the planes on behalf of Amazon under its F air certificate. This will take Sun County's fleet to 39 Boeing 737s.
At the Paris Airshow, aircraft lessor GECAS and Amazon announced a deal to lease an additional 15 Boeing 737-800 cargo aircraft, in addition to the five Boeing 737-800s already leased from the company.
Sun Country will hire up to 20 per cent more pilots in 2020, as well as additional maintenance and operations staff. The deal is estimated to amount to 20 per cent of the airline's business.
Said Sun Country CEO Jude Bricker: 'Our partnership with Amazon presents a unique opportunity to grow our airline. While the past two years have been focused on scheduled service growth, this exciting opportunity gives us a chance to diversify even further.'
Said Amazon Global Air vice president Sarah Rhoads: 'We're thrilled to partner with Sun Country as they look to grow their cargo operations. As we continue to grow our air cargo fleet on behalf of our customers to ensure fast, free delivery, we look forward to the ongoing partnership with Sun Country.'
The Amazon Air fleet is currently operated by lessors ATSG and Atlas Air. However, the e-commerce firm has expressed some concerns about a protracted contract dispute with Atlas Air, suggesting it could move some aircraft to another operator.