What If Amazon Launched An Airline? 1

Amazon plane mockup

Amazon is a brand known the world over for delivering everything from electronics to groceries at the touch of a button. It’s no secret that the company already runs its own cargo airline, but what if Amazon launched a passenger airline?

Existing Operations

Originally launched as Prime Air, Amazon Air utilities a fleet of 35 B767 aircraft, while another 5 are currently on order. Amazon uses their fleet of cargo aircraft to move packages between fulfilment centres all over the United States. The airline flies to 17 destinations, while a new route to March Air Force Base in California will launch soon. This new destination will see 5 take off and landings a day.

The cargo airline isn’t the only part of the sky that the company has its eyes set on. For the past few years Amazon has repeatedly hit headlines regarding its goal to make deliveries via drone a reality. This prompted the cargo airline to change its name to Amazon Air. A move to avoid confusion between the two projects.

Boeing 767 in Amazon colours.
Amazon One is the name affectionately given to the company’s first B767.

Prime Class?

If Amazon launched an airline, it could possibly be a low cost operation. Amazon won its loyal customer base by offering prices cheaper than the high street. Furthermore, the company is known for its Prime service. This offers lots of benefits for a fixed fee, such as expedited shipping, and free entertainment.

It is entirely possible that an Amazon Airline could offer a low cost fare, with purchasable extras. Maybe prime members would get free priority boarding and seat selection, or a free item of luggage. Maybe the seats would have in flight entertainment offering Amazon Video, that comes at a premium for non-prime passengers.

Amazon plane mockup
What an Amazon passenger plane could look like.

What Aircraft?

Assuming that an Amazon Airline would be following the low cost model, it would likely only operate one aircraft type. Presumably the B737 which has proved to be the aircraft of choice for low cost carriers. As the second largest company by market value, they would have no problem buying the aircraft necessary to start this operation up.

What About Routes?

Due to the fact that Amazon’s current air operations are solely in the US, it would make sense for the airline to launch operations here first. In addition, Amazon typically has a history of launching its ideas in the North American market first before expanding the successful ones to other countries.

Prime Air B767 on Ramp
A Prime Air aircraft being loaded on the ramp.

It would probably launch on a route that already has an existing track record for good passenger numbers. Amazon already has a good reputation for its services. Unlike a brand new startup airline, its customers already know that they can trust the brand.

Whilst it is unlikely that the company would launch an airline any time soon, it isn’t beyond the realms of possibility for a company trying to dominate the logistics market. Who knows, maybe one day you’ll step onto a pilotless plane, and hear “Welcome onboard, this is your captain Alexa speaking”.

 

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