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Amazon has launched its dedicated air cargo network in India, titled Amazon Air. First launched in 2016, this service has expanded from Amazon’s home base in the United States to Europe and now to India. The service focuses on building out Amazon’s logistics infrastructure and improving their last-mile connectivity.
The company is yet to build out their fleet for operation in India, and are starting off with a Boeing 737-800, which has a cargo capacity of 23 tonnes and 141 cubic metres. This undertaking will be conducted in partnership with Quikjet, an Indian cargo airline that provides freighter services for e-commerce, air freight charters, and more.
While the service first started with rented aircraft, Amazon Air operates over 110 planes today serving over 70 destinations worldwide. The service was inaugurated by Industries Minister KT Rama Rao at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad. Amazon’s largest warehouses, campuses, and fulfilment centres in India are in Hyderabad, making it a natural choice for the air cargo service. The service is also expected to create additional jobs in the state. Speaking at the inauguration, the minister said,
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“We have been working towards strengthening the state’s air cargo infrastructure, and we welcome the launch of Amazon Air, which will further assist in making Hyderabad a cargo hub for the country and will create additional employment opportunities in the state.”
Amazon’s presence in Telangana is only set to grow further, as AWS recently announced that they will be investing a total of INR 36,300 crore to bolster their data centre capabilities in the state. This investment will go towards a phase-wise strengthening of their three data centres located in Chandanvelly, FAB City and Pharma City.
India is one of Amazon’s biggest markets. In FY22, Amazon Marketplace alone made over INR 21 crore in revenue, increasing from INR 16 crore in FY21. Amazon has also opened up its logistics networks to third-party merchants in India as part of an initiative to leverage their strong logistics networks as a business avenue.
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It is to be noted that the company has been shuttering its services like Amazon Distribution and Amazon Food. Amazon India has also laid off 1000 employees across Amazon Stores and people experience departments as part of their cost-cutting measures.
Even as the company indulges in many cost-cutting measures, the move to bring Amazon Air to India shows their continued interest in the subcontinent. This is mainly due to the fact that the e-commerce giant has a network of 1.1 million sellers in the country and has long struggled to serve their 12 million products to the last mile in India.