Amazon launches dedicated air cargo service in India as online sales soar

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(Restatements with comments from an executive)

NEW DELHI/BENGALURU, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc on Monday launched a dedicated air cargo service in India, Amazon Air, as it seeks to expand and speed up deliveries in one of -its main markets among no fast growing. -selling the business, said an executive on Monday.

The company has invested in Indian cargo carrier Quikjet to exclusively transport packages for Amazon across four major Indian cities, Sarah Rhoads, vice president, Amazon Global Air told Reuters, without specifying the size of the investment.

The move to use a dedicated freight service will give Amazon tighter control over costs and flight schedules while reducing delivery times on a wider range of products, Rhoads said.

“When we use a dedicated network … we have more transparency with the cost, control the negotiations and drive the schedule to make sure we are making the most efficient use of the asset,” she said.

“We want to deliver the majority of shipments in two days or less and Amazon Air enables that.”

India is the third market, after the United States and Europe, where the company has launched Amazon Air. The Seattle-headquartered firm, which began service in 2016 in the United States, operates a network of more than 110 jets flying to more than 70 locations around the world.

Quikjet, a Bengaluru-based cargo carrier that is a unit of Europe’s ASL Aviation, already operates one plane for Amazon and will start its second from Tuesday across cities including Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Hyderabad. ASL operates several aircraft for Amazon in Europe, Rhoads said.

Rhoads said Amazon, the online retailer of books to boots that competes with Walmart Inc’s Flipkart in India, will expand its fleet based on the success of its two planes.

Amazon, which uses its own ground delivery services for shipping, also partners with Deutsche Post DHL Group-controlled Blue Dart Express Ltd, one of India’s largest air cargo carriers. (Reporting by Nandan Mandayam in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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