Amazon’s cargo airline’s slow growth is showing how the eCommerce company is adjusting to the sluggish demand, Bloomberg wrote Tuesday (Sept. 20).
The Amazon Air freighters had on average 194 flights a day during a week in September, which was a 3.8% boost from March – the smallest increase in the institute’s periodic snapshots since May 2020 when they started recording them. The data is compiled by DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.
“Amazon is making significant adjustments,” Joseph Schwieterman, the Chicago-based institute’s director, said in an interview. “The company apparently was overly optimistic about its need to grow its supply chain so rapidly at the height of the pandemic.”
The company has had to shutter or abandon plans for numerous warehouses due to the surplus they had as things got back to normal after the pandemic. And it has cut its workforce by almost 100,000 workers this year.
Amazon Air, which uses pilots from a handful of partner carriers, flies packaged items to customers. The service has seen a lot of growth as of late, and at one point was thinking of buying bigger long-haul jets to import things from Asia.
According to Schwieterman, the company has boosted its flight activity from its $1.5 billion hub at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport since it expanded last year, with some overnight flights thought to be working on next-day delivery. And Amazon Air has recently started flying to Las Vegas and El Paso, Texas, he added.
Amazon didn’t reply to a request for comment from PYMNTS.
In January, PYMNTS wrote that Amazon Air had been broadening into Kansas, adding a regional gateway facility at Wichita Eisenhower National Airport.
The facility offers express delivery to Prime customers there. The private airline had started off its daily cargo service between Wichita and the regional hub at Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas around that time.
The Amazon Air flights are operated by Silver Airways, which is based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That company operates passenger services across the southwestern U.S., Bahamas and the Caribbean.