Is Amazon Secretly Flying its Own Cargo Planes?

By Chris Mills on at

According to a report on Vice channel Motherboard, there’s a secretive air freight business running in an old DHL facility in Ohio in the US. It’s impossible to say who is behind it, but as Motherboard's writer Kari Paul explains, Amazon would be a safe bet.

The facility in question is Wilmington Air Park, a cargo airport that was used by DHL up until 2008. At that time, the company announced it was abandoning the operation, cutting 7,500 jobs, and leaving two runways and all sorts of warehouse space empty.

Starting in September, a new tenant took up residence. Under the name of Air Transport Services Group, it’s been operating four flights a day to four different airports, using a few leased Boeing 767s. The airports it’s flying to (Allentown, Pennsylvania; Ontario, Canada; Tampa, Florida; and Oakland, California) all have Amazon distribution facilities within 60 miles, although that’s not saying much, given Amazon has 75 centres across the United State, which are found to be in proximity to practically every major population centre.

Motherboard also quotes a few other sources, from staff at the airport to industry experts. Amazon, for its part, neither confirmed nor denied the allegations.

It’s a very plausible rumour: Amazon is a logistics company that surely would not struggle at running its own shipping of this kind. It also has a reputation for performing limited trials of schemes that don’t always work out. Testing this venture would certainly be cheaper than making another dud smartphone; whether it works out to be more successful is a different question. [Motherboard]

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