Amazon has begun regional freighter operations in the United States with new CMI partner Silver Airways.
The Florida-based carrier launched commercial service from Fort Worth Alliance Airport (AFW) with two of Amazon’s bulk ATR 72-500Fs on Nov. 9, flying one (853, ex-Aurigny Air Services) to Des Moines (DSM) and the other (727, ex-Air Corsica) to Albuquerque (ABQ), according to flight-tracking radar.
Unit 853 was the first to arrive at Silver’s base in Fort Lauderdale (FLL) this summer and was ferried to AFW in October, with unit 727 following at the end of the month.
A third ATR 72-500F (714, ex-Air New Zealand) landed at AFW Nov. 5, while two others (736, ex-Air Caraibes, and 682, ex-Voepass) are awaiting service entry at FLL.
Amazon has reserved at least three more registrations in the same range as the five ATR 72-500Fs.
Today executive leadership at Silver confirmed the airline had “executed its first cargo flight” after a six-month certification process, according to a post from CFO Pedro Motta on LinkedIn.
Neither Amazon nor Silver responded to a request for comment.
While Amazon is utilizing package freighters, factory-built ATR 72-600Fs are also being staged to reshape the U.S. domestic feeder fleet. ASL Airlines Ireland began operating the first ATR 72-600F for FedEx earlier this year, and three other aircraft have been delivered to FedEx and are in the United States awaiting service entry.
As of the end of October, Cargo Facts tallied 239 freighters in the 3.8 tonne to 8.8 tonne regional freighter fleet. For more on this segment of the freighter fleet, see P.12 of the November issue of Cargo Facts.