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US airline to help Amazon Air expand its cargo service

By Ramla Soni

Minneapolis-based leisure carrier Sun Country Airlines will fly 10 dedicated cargo planes carrying Amazon packages starting in the second quarter of 2020

Amazon is turning to Sun Country Airlines to help expand its package-delivery business.

Sun Country Airlines, a small, Minneapolis-based leisure carrier, will start flying a fleet of 10 converted Boeing 737-800 freighters in the second quarter of 2020, carrying Amazon packages.

This is part of the company’s plan to expand its air service, Amazon Air, with the leased single-aisle planes, the airline said. Amazon Air contracts other airlines to fly the jetliners.

Amazon currently depends on cargo airlines Atlas Air and ATSG to carry its packages. The company owns warrants to buy minority stakes in both companies and has been bringing more logistics operations in-house.

Sun Country, which is owned by private equity firm Apollo Global Management, is said to use the business to help level out the seasonality of leisure flying.

The deal came together last week, but CEO Jude Bricker said he first approached Amazon to try to sell the company a used plane, which didn’t go to plan.

Earlier this year, Amazon then reverted back to Sun Country about a cargo deal, which was not part of the original plan, Bricker said.

Sun Country will add 150 pilot jobs over the next 18 months, bringing its total to 500, to keep up with the extra flying Amazon will require.

In June, FedEx said it would no longer provide express shipping for Amazon packages in the US, affecting its air services.

FURTHER READING: Amazon share price forecast for 2020 and beyond

FURTHER READING: Amazon is creating a $40 million robotics hub

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