Argentina-based online retailer Mercado Libre has unveiled a Sideral-operated 737-400F in the company’s own livery (24690, ex-Sriwijaya Air).
Four aircraft from different carriers are now in service for the e-tailer in Latin America, according to local reports. Mercado Libre Founder and CEO Marcos Galperin posted two photos of the newly painted aircraft on social media, referring to the own-controlled operation as Meli Air.
Llegó MELI Air Brasil. 💪💪💪🛫🛫🛫
— Marcos Galperin (@marcos_galperin) November 3, 2020
Unit 24690 is expected to transport goods throughout Brazil from Mercado Libre’s two main distribution centers in the states of Bahia and Sao Paulo.
During a Nov. 4 earnings call, company CFO Pedro Arnt told analysts the freighters support the company’s objective to deliver more parcels “in less than two days.” While in the past the company had focused on third-party providers, growing volumes have justified dedicated capacity for Mercado Libre in key markets such as Brazil and Mexico, according to Arnt. As for freighters emblazoned in the Mercado Libre livery, “that will be a growing part of our network design as we strive to grow faster,” he said.
Mercado Libre, like most major e-tailers, has seen significant e-commerce growth catalyzed by the pandemic. The company reported 3Q 2020 gross merchandise revenue up 117% year on year to $5.9 billion. Mercado Libre’s home market of Argentina saw gross merchandise volume grow the fastest with an increase of 242%. Mexico grew by 109%, followed by 74% in Brazil.
This is not the first time Mercado Libre has partnered with a carrier; in 2019 the company announced a partnership agreement with Brazil-based Azul for air cargo capacity within the country. The carrier became a freighter operator in 2018 with the introduction of two 737-400Fs (28053 and 28198).
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