Amazon Air Readies to Land First Project of its Kind in Texas

New Regional Air Hub to Open Next Month

E-commerce giant Amazon is readying to open a new regional air hub next month in Fort Worth, Texas, that will employ over 300 workers and support multiple daily flights as the company transitions away from third-party distribution providers such as FedEx and UPS.

The online retailer created Amazon Air to bring its air shipping and distribution in-house, giving Amazon an envious position in the retail industry, which has been rapidly changing with e-commerce. Operations are scheduled to begin next month at the new regional air cargo hub, touted for being the "first of its kind," at Fort Worth's Alliance Airport, which is the world's first industrial airport dedicated to shipping, corporate and military flights.

Amazon has hired full-time workers for the new regional air hub. Amazon wouldn't share the address of the new regional air hub other than saying it is located at Alliance Airport.

The facility is Amazon's "latest investment in Texas," and will help the company offer faster delivery to its customers, said Sarah Rhoads, vice president of Amazon Global Air, in a statement.

The Fort Worth facility was built specifically with the "future in mind," Rhoads previously said, and was tailored to fit Amazon Air's larger scale needs with the ability to support multiple flights a day.

Amazon Air, which launched in 2016, has major plans at the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport in Hebron, Kentucky, and at Chicago Rockford International Airport in Rockford, Illinois, between Chicago and Milwaukee. The logistics airline, which operates over 45 Boeing 767 airplanes in more than 20 gateways in the United States, plans to open the Cincinnati-Northern Kentucky Airport in 2021.

By creating its own logistics network, Amazon is expected to save, according to a Morgan Stanley analyst, between $1 billion and $2 billion each year at a time when Amazon's Prime membership service, which offers free shipping, expands rapidly to consumers.

Memphis-based shipping giant FedEx ended its ground-shipping relationship with Amazon in August. Both downplayed the significance of the breakup, with each noting they were a small piece of the other's business. But in its July annual report, FedEx noted the competition from high-volume shippers, specifically mentioning Amazon.

Since beginning to invest in Texas, Amazon has created more than 22,000 full-time jobs in Texas and invested more than $10 billion since 2010. That investment includes fulfillment centers throughout the state, as well as a 253-megawatt wind farm. Amazon also has a regional office in the Galleria Towers in Dallas.

Dallas-Fort Worth, including Alliance Airport, is a top U.S. distribution market. According to CoStar data, the runway expansion at Fort Worth's Alliance Airport taking its runway from 9,600 feet to 11,000 feet in early 2018 helped spur development, such as Amazon Air's new regional air hub, in this part of the region.

Costar News - Candice Carlisle. September 12, 2019

September 16, 2019

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