Amazon has acquired seven 767-300ERs from Delta Air Lines, the second batch of 767s the e-tailer has purchased outright as opposed to dry leasing, which it did with all freighters currently in service on its behalf [FATs 005813-5815 and 005818-5821].
Three 767s (30594, 30595, 30575) were transferred to Amazon.com Services LLC on Dec. 23, while another four (30388, 30573, 30574, 32776) were acquired on Dec. 29, according to the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) aircraft registry.
Units 30594, 30595, 30388, 30573 and 30574 were manufactured in 2000, while units 30575 and 32776 are 2001 frames. The seven aircraft are among the eight youngest 767-300ERs in Delta’s fleet and are powered by GE’s CF6-80C2B6F engine. All have been parked in Victorville (VCV) since March, except unit 32776, which is in Marana (MZJ).
The Delta purchase follows a similar move by Amazon just a few months ago, when the company registered the first 767-300ER of its own (25274, ex-WestJet) Aug. 31, and three more (25576, 25363 and 25246, all ex-WestJet) in the next month.
Prior to the ex-WestJet aircraft, Amazon had leased all its 767s from the leasing affiliates of Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings after converting them to freighter configuration.
It remains to be seen when Amazon will send the ex-Delta aircraft for conversion, and whether the retail giant will select Boeing or Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) for the task.
Although not necessarily a pattern that will be replicated, the first four-unit tranche of 767s that Amazon bought was gradually ferried to IAI’s conversion facilities throughout September; those aircraft are now either undergoing or being prepared for conversion. Two frames (25274, 25576) are currently in Tel Aviv (TLV) while the other pair (25363, 25246) is in Mexico City (MEX), where touch labor will be performed at the Mexicana MRO facility.
Who will fly these Amazon-owned freighters, and where, is unclear at this stage, but it is likely Amazon will hand them over to a CMI operator to fly them on its behalf.
Boeing and IAI both ramped up their 767 conversion capacity in the second half of 2020, citing increased demand. The only known new conversion orders since then have come from DHL Express, with an order for four 767-300BCFs with Boeing and three 767-300BDSFs, plus one option with IAI.
In October, Delta announced an accelerated retirement program for various aircraft types, including all forty-nine of its 767-300ERs by December 2025. Seven had already been retired by around June 2020, per an earlier announcement by CEO Ed Bastian.
[Edited on Dec. 30 to add four more aircraft.]