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wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 3:33 am

CX747:

Good post. I agree its fun to compare info without the stupid Twitter/Facebook nastiness.

We'll see what happens. I'm not sure the AerSale deal is representative of too much, other than that the folks at AerSale are smart, savvy, opportunistic purchasers. Reminds me of ATSG's purchase of options on 20 of the AA retired 767-300s. Then it seemed smart. Now it looks like genius. ATSG hedged by paying a relatively low cost-per-plane for the options, and didn't have to pay for the airframe unless/until they actually wanted it; AerSale's deal is super-smart, because of their position as an owner, storage-facility-operator, MRO-operator/conversion-house (through its purchase of Aeroturbine), dismantler/parts-harvester and USM warehouser/marketer/vendor. They really don't care whether those aircraft remain in one piece or simply donate USM. The large installed base of 757s operating for FedEx and UPS means that eventually USM will be very-valuable, particularly as the effect that I'm discussing becomes reality.

I think it's telling that the 24 aircraft in the deal come with 16 spare RR engines. The aircraft and the engines and spare engines can be put to use intact or harvested for USM. AerSale doesn't care. They also can make some of those spares available in future years on a PBTH basis for their green time, or even partially-overhaul a few and lease them on PBTH for folks who need them. Lots of opportunities to make money when you own a used car dealer AND a chop shop. Indeed, AerSale already has announced that they're gonna harvest USM from "some" of the 757s. Right now, AerSale at GYR is a significant conversion house for the Precision Conversions 757. They have a significant order of those from SF Airlines that they're filling. Now that they have, apparently, good feedstock and engines, they can solicit a follow-on order from SF and perhaps other Chinese airlines, and convert them at GYR or send them to China to convert. (Recently, they've been doing the SF conversions at GYR.) If they can't unload the rest right away, they can store them at a storage facility that they own, harvest them at a chop shop that they own, continue to solicit conversion interest, or find other ways to make money with them.

So that's a good deal for them, but I think the A321 conversion is a little too new to really compare against existing mature programs, because the feedstock has only recently started to become priced in the sweet spot.

I also don't think that the success of the 737-800 conversion, even at Amazon, is a limitation. The A321 is larger, and some folks are going to want larger without going to a 757 for the reasons that I mentioned. But it's all a crapshoot, and depends upon a lot of factors outside anybody's control, so we will see. FWIW, I don't think the full-operation economics of the 737-800BCF are as good as was expected by some of its current operators, but they committed to them and so they're stuck with them. This shows the limitations of one's ability to extrapolate what the converted aircraft is going to be able to do and what it's going to cost to operate, even when there is a gargantuan installed base of the passenger version. I think a lot of potential purchasers/lessees of the A321PCF are going to want to see how they do in the real world so they can get a better sense of the economics and of a lot of intangibles.
 
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B350pilot
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 3:46 am

Nov 18 ATSG Investor Presentation

May be of interest for the industry watchers.....https://www.atsginc.com/investors/news- ... sentations
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 2:28 pm

wjcandee wrote:
This shows the limitations of one's ability to extrapolate what the converted aircraft is going to be able to do and what it's going to cost to operate, even when there is a gargantuan installed base of the passenger version. I think a lot of potential purchasers/lessees of the A321PCF are going to want to see how they do in the real world so they can get a better sense of the economics and of a lot of intangibles.


And this little nugget gets to the meat of the issue: There's precisely ONE converted A321F flying around in customer colors on the entire planet. Even with tons of flashy marketing materials from up to 4 conversion houses, it's much too early to extrapolate anything just yet. Give it a few years and a few dozen aircraft in service (and by then we can compare CFM vs V2500 suitability too).

Hey Wjcandee, you going to take a stab at the Peak season 2020 thread? You seem to have a good handle especially on Western Global's breakdowns...
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Nov 17, 2020 5:06 pm

Spacepope wrote:

Hey Wjcandee, you going to take a stab at the Peak season 2020 thread? You seem to have a good handle especially on Western Global's breakdowns...


You know, I have never done that before. Usually someone else does, and I occasionally chime in with what I know. Over on the Covid Cargo thread, HPRamper was kind enough to identify for me which KD aircraft were expected to be wet leased by FedEx this season, but I really don't have a sense of the Kalitta and Atlas and other aircraft that will be joining the mix. One thing is for certain: I don't think the folks at FedEx, which flies nearly 60 MD11s, will be able to wrap their brains around KD's dispatch reliability with the same equipment. UPS had a big taste of it in the past, but I'm not sure FedEx has seen it on this scale. The three that are currently flying for FedEx on USPS stuff include what appear to be the two most-reliable aircraft in the fleet (581JN and 799JN), supplemented by a pretty-reliable one as a spare (513JN). But -- and this is what Brings The Drama, there are more to come!

I have to say I'm not sure what twisted part of my personality makes me focus on Western Global; it probably includes some elements that make the Buffalo Airways TV series interesting-ish. KD is a group of nice people in many roles (and some not nice people in others) who are sort of self-inflicted underdogs. They have some business practices and instincts that may be part of their success and may also be part of what limits them. They have a fleet that is extremely-challenged to operate at a high tempo with any semblance of the kind of reliability that Class A carriers demand of themselves. I can't imagine why their turnback frequency given their fleet size hasn't attracted the attention of the FAA. One can see some things done very-intelligently in planning, and then the operation disappoints. Missed opportunity after missed opportunity. And on and on. Randomly pick 11 UPS or FedEx MD11s and watch them for a week. Then do the same with the 11 operational KD MD11s. Quelle difference!! Heck, compare them to the reliability of SkyLease's two 747-400Fs. SkyLease, which had a reputation as a rust-corner carrier that never paid anybody on time, and yet their aircraft are running like the Energizer Bunny, and have been since March.

Anyway, I will be happy to chime in on any 2020 Peak thread, but I'm not sure I'm the one to initiate it, cuz I'm not sure I know enough...
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020 7:07 am

Did anybody notice the new (about 3 weeks old) 767-300 route through ANC on ATI? SFO-ANC-ORD. The aircraft routing actually seems to be pretty-consistently SEA-BDL-SFO-ANC-ORD, which is actually part of I think a longer intended routing in which sometimes planes get swapped at different points (like ORD). Interesting. Foreign carriers can do all sorts of load-breaking at ANC (change of gauge and such), so I wonder if Amazon isn't actually picking some things up off of somebody's aircraft arriving from Asia and taking them to Chicago, after bringing in packages from Amazon's Bay Area facilities.
 
autopiloton
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020 8:31 am

I’m hearing that the planes are pretty much empty. Looks like most flights are filed at FL410 which would pretty much confirm that they aren’t carrying much cargo except probably empty containers. Similar to the ANC-PHX route. Have yet to figure out why Amazon would fly an empty plane to PHX or ORD instead of say SEA.

wjcandee wrote:
Did anybody notice the new (about 3 weeks old) 767-300 route through ANC on ATI? SFO-ANC-ORD. The aircraft routing actually seems to be pretty-consistently SEA-BDL-SFO-ANC-ORD, which is actually part of I think a longer intended routing in which sometimes planes get swapped at different points (like ORD). Interesting. Foreign carriers can do all sorts of load-breaking at ANC (change of gauge and such), so I wonder if Amazon isn't actually picking some things up off of somebody's aircraft arriving from Asia and taking them to Chicago, after bringing in packages from Amazon's Bay Area facilities.
 
Boof02671
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020 1:26 pm

Actually AA sold the 763s to Jetran
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:26 pm

Boof02671 wrote:
Actually AA sold the 763s to Jetran


Correct.

Was this a reference to my post above? If so, I guess I wasn't careful enough in including all the details, as I reread it now.

FWIW, I never said that ATSG's options for the purchase of the ex-AA aircraft were the result of a deal that ATSG made directly with AA. Perhaps since I have posted many times on here about the ATSG/Jetran transaction, I wasn't careful to make sure that everybody knew (or had read) the details of who the exact counterparties were. I just talked about CAM's options for the ex-AA aircraft, which could have been a bit misleading.

Indeed, the ex-AA 763s were the subject of a long-existing arrangement between AA and Jetran where Jetran controlled the assets after they were retired (and had been doing so long before they made the 20-aircraft deal regarding the current bunch).

Virtually all of the non-flying, retired-years-ago AA 763s are controlled by Jetran and are stored, parted out, etc. ATSG actually purchased a number of ex-AA 763s from Jetran out of the desert in the years before this big 20-aircraft option deal. N354AA, for example. Jetran had that frame in the desert for almost 2 years before they sold it to CAM in 2018.

And ATSG's relationship with Jetran goes beyond that. Jetran brokered the deal that brought the 3 ANA Cargo BCFs to CAM, as well as others. IIRC, certain ATSG executives flew to Japan on a Jetran-owned bizjet in connection with that.

I'm sorry I wasn't clearer, and you are right to clarify what I posted.
 
MajMattMason
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Nov 18, 2020 6:57 pm

autopiloton wrote:
I’m hearing that the planes are pretty much empty. Looks like most flights are filed at FL410 which would pretty much confirm that they aren’t carrying much cargo except probably empty containers. Similar to the ANC-PHX route. Have yet to figure out why Amazon would fly an empty plane to PHX or ORD instead of say SEA.

wjcandee wrote:
Did anybody notice the new (about 3 weeks old) 767-300 route through ANC on ATI? SFO-ANC-ORD. The aircraft routing actually seems to be pretty-consistently SEA-BDL-SFO-ANC-ORD, which is actually part of I think a longer intended routing in which sometimes planes get swapped at different points (like ORD). Interesting. Foreign carriers can do all sorts of load-breaking at ANC (change of gauge and such), so I wonder if Amazon isn't actually picking some things up off of somebody's aircraft arriving from Asia and taking them to Chicago, after bringing in packages from Amazon's Bay Area facilities.


AMZ Flights INTO ANC are half to pretty full.
OUT of ANC to any station are nearly always just repositioning cans and cookie sheets.
 
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Spacepope
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:18 am

Amazon looks like it's setting up a sortation facility at COS now. 279,000 square foot facility called "Project Congo". Perhaps they're sick of the constant traffic jam hauling air down from Denver.

https://www.kktv.com/2020/11/24/amazon- ... o-springs/
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Nov 24, 2020 2:27 am

Spacepope wrote:
Amazon looks like it's setting up a sortation facility at COS now. 279,000 square foot facility called "Project Congo". Perhaps they're sick of the constant traffic jam hauling air down from Denver.

https://www.kktv.com/2020/11/24/amazon- ... o-springs/


The article is funny. In the entire history of Amazon Global Air, more beans have been spilled by nitwits at airport boards than any single other source, I believe. "Shhhh...the name of the company is a secret. I can't tell you." Then publicly hand out design plans with the name Amazon on the buildings. Genius.
 
mcg
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Fri Nov 27, 2020 4:49 pm

Big article in Washington Post (owned by Jeff Bezos....) about Amazon Logistics. Behind a paywall I think, they do seem to have a first month for $1 promotion. The key thing for me is that in 2015 97% of packages were delivered by UPS and USPS, today Amazon delivers 67% and is growing that percentage. It's a good read:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/technolo ... ve-threat/
 
autopiloton
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 7:39 am

N392AN (soon to be N491AZ) made its debut tonight with ATI operating a UPS run for peak. MCO-PHL-MCO. Still in her Frankenstein American paint job like sister N381AN.
 
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 12:00 pm

@mcg a good read indeed. In my opinion a wise business decision. When the Wahsington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos such a statement has more meaning to it. I think the "long game" they're talking about in this article is not a thing Bezos has to wait for much longer.
 
gdavis003
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:04 pm

Anyone know where in the Atlanta area MGE8 is? I can't seem to find anything online with an address for it. Most of my packages that I have received over the last few years, especially ones being flown in from the west coast, have gone through ATL6, which is just a short hop away from Atlanta Hartsfield. Now, they seem to be going through MGE8 instead of ATL6, even though they're clearly being flown into ATL. Anyone have any idea? Just out of sheer curiosity.
 
CALMSP
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:11 pm

Spacepope wrote:
Amazon looks like it's setting up a sortation facility at COS now. 279,000 square foot facility called "Project Congo". Perhaps they're sick of the constant traffic jam hauling air down from Denver.

https://www.kktv.com/2020/11/24/amazon- ... o-springs/


eh, its only 1 maybe 2 trucks worth, and with the times that they depart from the DEN airport warehouse, you're not even going to run into traffic. This would be more expansion, there will still be cargo coming from CVG (and the network) for COS1 after the facility is built.
 
CALMSP
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:17 pm

gdavis003 wrote:
Anyone know where in the Atlanta area MGE8 is? I can't seem to find anything online with an address for it. Most of my packages that I have received over the last few years, especially ones being flown in from the west coast, have gone through ATL6, which is just a short hop away from Atlanta Hartsfield. Now, they seem to be going through MGE8 instead of ATL6, even though they're clearly being flown into ATL. Anyone have any idea? Just out of sheer curiosity.


Its due west of the airport about 10 miles.
 
gdavis003
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:19 pm

CALMSP wrote:
gdavis003 wrote:
Anyone know where in the Atlanta area MGE8 is? I can't seem to find anything online with an address for it. Most of my packages that I have received over the last few years, especially ones being flown in from the west coast, have gone through ATL6, which is just a short hop away from Atlanta Hartsfield. Now, they seem to be going through MGE8 instead of ATL6, even though they're clearly being flown into ATL. Anyone have any idea? Just out of sheer curiosity.


Its due west of the airport about 10 miles.


Appreciate it. Any idea as to the reason for the shift in ops from ATL6 to MGE8 for airport ops (which is what it seems like), or are they just being used in conjunction with each other? Presume MGE8 is a new facility
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:35 pm

CALMSP wrote:
gdavis003 wrote:
Anyone know where in the Atlanta area MGE8 is? I can't seem to find anything online with an address for it. Most of my packages that I have received over the last few years, especially ones being flown in from the west coast, have gone through ATL6, which is just a short hop away from Atlanta Hartsfield. Now, they seem to be going through MGE8 instead of ATL6, even though they're clearly being flown into ATL. Anyone have any idea? Just out of sheer curiosity.


Its due west of the airport about 10 miles.


It's interesting that they're calling it MGE, given that Dobbins ARB is Northwest of downtown Atlanta, past where I75 crosses I285, and Hartsfield is basically due South of downtown Atlanta, sandwiched between I75 and I85. I guess it's not an exact science.
 
CALMSP
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:38 pm

wjcandee wrote:
CALMSP wrote:
gdavis003 wrote:
Anyone know where in the Atlanta area MGE8 is? I can't seem to find anything online with an address for it. Most of my packages that I have received over the last few years, especially ones being flown in from the west coast, have gone through ATL6, which is just a short hop away from Atlanta Hartsfield. Now, they seem to be going through MGE8 instead of ATL6, even though they're clearly being flown into ATL. Anyone have any idea? Just out of sheer curiosity.


Its due west of the airport about 10 miles.


It's interesting that they're calling it MGE, given that Dobbins ARB is Northwest of downtown Atlanta, past where I75 crosses I285, and Hartsfield is basically due South of downtown Atlanta, sandwiched between I75 and I85. I guess it's not an exact science.


I was thinking maybe Marietta, but that doesn't reach down there. Who knows!
 
gdavis003
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 9:42 pm

CALMSP wrote:
wjcandee wrote:
CALMSP wrote:

Its due west of the airport about 10 miles.


It's interesting that they're calling it MGE, given that Dobbins ARB is Northwest of downtown Atlanta, past where I75 crosses I285, and Hartsfield is basically due South of downtown Atlanta, sandwiched between I75 and I85. I guess it's not an exact science.


I was thinking maybe Marietta, but that doesn't reach down there. Who knows!


I agree. I know MGE3 and MGE5 are up near Braselton, about halfway between ATL and the SC state line up I85. MGE8 is pretty far from those. And MGE, Dobbins ARB itself, is at least an hour from MGE3/5, plus more when you factor in the classic ATL traffic lol
 
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sunking737
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 10:55 pm

My family ordered from Amazon this weekend, Two different items, different days. One due tomorrow, the other Wednesday. Both came today 24 and 48 hrs early..I'm impressed.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Tue Dec 01, 2020 11:08 pm

Same here. My "Wednesday" items were delivered today. One by Amazon Last Mile and 2 by Amazon-to-USPS. The USPS has stopped delivering most packages with our regular mail, and instead the packages arrive super-early. Today, for example, our regular mailman was stacking 3 boxes (two Amazon, one UPS Surepost) outside the kitchen door at 8:38am. I guess he makes a trip later with the mail and an additional cut of packages, because first-class didn't get into the mailbox until its usual time, which has been recently in the early-afternoon. Those little dinkymobiles they drive I guess don't have room for all the package volume. Using the regular guy is smart, though, because he knows where everybody lives out here in Not The City. In my City apartment building, which has 400+ units, USPS backs a giant truck up to the building in the early afternoon with an enormous volume of packages, primarily Amazon.
 
TXRoadMan
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:35 am

I've never understood their warehouse codes, but I'm sure there's some method to their madness. They opened a couple of warehouses using the FTWx series on the Dallas-side of the metroplex, only to later open a DFWx warehouse over in Fort Worth. (In other words, it didn't appear to be DFWx code exhaustion.) I'm not sure if someone doesn't own a map, it means something, or they just don't care.
 
USAirKid
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 12:59 am

wjcandee wrote:
CALMSP wrote:
gdavis003 wrote:
Anyone know where in the Atlanta area MGE8 is? I can't seem to find anything online with an address for it. Most of my packages that I have received over the last few years, especially ones being flown in from the west coast, have gone through ATL6, which is just a short hop away from Atlanta Hartsfield. Now, they seem to be going through MGE8 instead of ATL6, even though they're clearly being flown into ATL. Anyone have any idea? Just out of sheer curiosity.


Its due west of the airport about 10 miles.


It's interesting that they're calling it MGE, given that Dobbins ARB is Northwest of downtown Atlanta, past where I75 crosses I285, and Hartsfield is basically due South of downtown Atlanta, sandwiched between I75 and I85. I guess it's not an exact science.


This is probably a bit of technical debt. Back when they started naming fulfillment centers they went with the IATA Code+Number, figuring they’d never have more than ten facilities in a given area. Now that they’ve expanded so much and also added delivery facilities in, they’re a bit strapped.

(And FWIW this is the same problem airline have with flight numbers being limited to four digits and seat row numbers being limited to 2 digits. It’d be helpful if AA code sharing with BA could just add 10,000 to the flight number, but the systems won’t take it. Likewise it’d have been great if the first deck of the A380 was all row 101, 102, etc with the second deck being 201, 202, etc, but the systems weren’t built for it.)

At least in Amazon’s case they only have to deal with their internal systems and they can pretty much dictate to their partners. In the airline’s case there are lots of systems owned by multiple parties to be coordinated.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:25 am

USAirKid wrote:
In the airline’s case there are lots of systems owned by multiple parties to be coordinated.


Some of which, at the root of it, are written in like COBOL. With a bunch of stuff layered on top of that. Oy.
 
enplaned
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 2:41 am

USAirKid wrote:
This is probably a bit of technical debt. Back when they started naming fulfillment centers they went with the IATA Code+Number, figuring they’d never have more than ten facilities in a given area. Now that they’ve expanded so much and also added delivery facilities in, they’re a bit strapped.

(And FWIW this is the same problem airline have with flight numbers being limited to four digits and seat row numbers being limited to 2 digits. It’d be helpful if AA code sharing with BA could just add 10,000 to the flight number, but the systems won’t take it. Likewise it’d have been great if the first deck of the A380 was all row 101, 102, etc with the second deck being 201, 202, etc, but the systems weren’t built for it.)

At least in Amazon’s case they only have to deal with their internal systems and they can pretty much dictate to their partners. In the airline’s case there are lots of systems owned by multiple parties to be coordinated.


It's a mess and will continue to be a mess. They have ONT5 and ONT2 hard against the fence for San Bernardino Intl Airport (SBD). And when the Eastgate project is done, they'll be serving SBD.

What do they call their gateway at Leipzig Airport (LEJ)? They label the nearby FC as LEJ1. Is the gateway "KLEJ" or do they use EDDP internally for the gateway?
 
USAirKid
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:06 am

wjcandee wrote:
USAirKid wrote:
In the airline’s case there are lots of systems owned by multiple parties to be coordinated.


Some of which, at the root of it, are written in like COBOL. With a bunch of stuff layered on top of that. Oy.


If it doesn't need fixed don't break it.
 
USAirKid
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:09 am

enplaned wrote:

It's a mess and will continue to be a mess. They have ONT5 and ONT2 hard against the fence for San Bernardino Intl Airport (SBD). And when the Eastgate project is done, they'll be serving SBD.

What do they call their gateway at Leipzig Airport (LEJ)? They label the nearby FC as LEJ1. Is the gateway "KLEJ" or do they use EDDP internally for the gateway?


Agreed that its a mess, but its likely not a mess worth fixing. The XXXN format gives 175,760 possible codes. (Not adjusting for 3 letter words like SEX, that they'd skip.) Amazon will only start thinking about fixing it if they get to 100,000 location codes and have another 60,000 planned. Right now its not customer facing, so its more or less a non-issue.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 5:44 pm

Okay, so here's an interesting one: It looks, from a couple of clues out of ILN, like ATSG may be moving the operation of N791AX, one of the Amazon-leased 767-200s, from ATI to ABX. Could just be an error in flight-planning, but that seems remote.

This could mean that Amazon and ATSG have agreed to terminate that particular lease early, or it could mean that ABX is adding an Amazon CMI 762 for the first time in years, and indeed taking one from ATI.

If so, this would be huge. Perhaps it's a sop by the new head of ATSG to curry some favor with the IBT, etc., in the hopes of finalizing a new contract at ABX. Some "carrot" after a lot of "stick". He previously worked for a change of tone from the old regime by calling ABX "a really good airline" and saying that he wanted to get the contract wrapped up so they could grow it again. After the IBT struck ABX at Peak several years ago, specifically to try to leverage ATSG's then-new relationship with Amazon, ATSG said no more Amazon-leased aircraft would be flown by ABX, and the growth of ATI exploded. ATI went from 8 757s and an occasional 767-200 to an airline that now flies 5 757s, 7 767-200s (all but 1 for Amazon), and 21 767-300s for Amazon, plus 5 767-300s as spares and for other (e.g. Aloha). So that's 38 airplanes. ABX, meanwhile, has shrunk as DHL continued to pull aircraft and routes from it, and failed to renew leases on aircraft operated by ABX.

As I understand it, at least as of a while back, Amazon puts the aircraft with ATSG, and ATSG makes the final pick as to the carrier who flies it. Amazon's contract is with a subsidiary of ATSG, and that's the entity that technically arranges for the contract with the carrier. Amazon has become more self-directed since I last looked into this, so it's possible that they're now more-directly involved in the selection as between ATI and ABX. But more likely this is an internal ATSG thing.

In any event, here's what's weird. 791AX came into ILN for a check on 10/22. That seemed a little odd, because it had spent 5 weeks in TPA just a year prior, and these checks usually come about every 2 years at ABX. But who knows for what reason you bring a ship in for maintenance, so I didn't think much of it. Figured it would be back in service in due time.

But then it did a test flight yesterday under its own tail number, rather than it's carrier's callsign, which usually indicates that CAM is moving it to another carrier and it's in conformity for the new carrier's certificate. The previous day, it had been booked for a test flight that it didn't take, also under its own tail number. Huh.

And then today, I see the aircraft scheduled for another test flight, this time under an ABX flight number. So either it's no longer dry-leased to Amazon, so the big story is an early lease termination on a 767-200, or it's moving to ABX. Whether this portends more to come, a balancing of aircraft between the two airlines, I don't know. Weird to do it before the new contract is signed with the IBT, however.

Or it's nothing and they put the wrong callsign into the FAA system. None of the other ABX-operated 767-200s (for any customer) are currently in ILN, except 752AX, which we understood to be wfu, so if that's true and this is indeed an ABX test flight, it's gotta be with 791AX.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 7:14 pm

Okay, so maybe a false alarm. Now, it appears that it is N742AX is flying as ABX80. Which is even weirder insofar as it has been painted for Astral Aviation in Kenya. As a CAM aircraft, it normally would fly under its tail number until exported to Astral.

Meanwhile, 791AX is flying (in the opposite direction of pattern -- interesting) under its own tail number again. So we know nothing.

ILN is a conundrum today. I will just keep an eye on this and shut up until I see/hear something conclusive. The simplest answer is that somebody punched things wrong into the flight plan when two test flights were going to take place at similar times.
 
autopiloton
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 8:22 pm

I was told that N791AX had its aft pressure bulkhead replaced. That's why it was in ILN so long and why its doing test flights. Also heard that N503AZ is going to ATI.

wjcandee wrote:
Okay, so maybe a false alarm. Now, it appears that it is N742AX is flying as ABX80. Which is even weirder insofar as it has been painted for Astral Aviation in Kenya. As a CAM aircraft, it normally would fly under its tail number until exported to Astral.

Meanwhile, 791AX is flying (in the opposite direction of pattern -- interesting) under its own tail number again. So we know nothing.

ILN is a conundrum today. I will just keep an eye on this and shut up until I see/hear something conclusive. The simplest answer is that somebody punched things wrong into the flight plan when two test flights were going to take place at similar times.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Wed Dec 02, 2020 9:17 pm

Thanks, Autopiloton! Just freaked me out to see 791 in the system as "ABX80", which apparently was a mistake.
 
stretch8
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Thu Dec 03, 2020 2:50 am

For wjcandee: Do you know when ATI B752C N754CX (at TPA) is coming out of whatever maint they're doing to her? Will she come thru ILN b4 back to HNL? Thanks & cheers!
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Thu Dec 03, 2020 3:42 am

stretch8 wrote:
For wjcandee: Do you know when ATI B752C N754CX (at TPA) is coming out of whatever maint they're doing to her? Will she come thru ILN b4 back to HNL? Thanks & cheers!


I will keep a lookout for any info on that, but I currently don't know. Sometimes, they take a long time on the 752Cs. I assume that this is in part because they really only need 3 to cover the missions, so it may not be the highest priority. I think that most likely it would swing through ILN at some point, because they all seem to do so, although the West Coast ones do seem to sit at MCC when not in active use. And with a 763 covering the Yokota-Diego Garcia route for now, the demand may be even lighter. DHL used one for a few days to cover a need a few months ago, which I thought was interesting. I was thinking that the Combis have to be more reliable than 727s, and they hold one pallet more than a 737-300F.
 
stretch8
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Thu Dec 03, 2020 12:38 pm

Thanks for N754CX info wjcandee, cheers!
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:17 pm

Test flight took place today at TLV for N395AN, which will be N499AZ and operated by ATI. LN709. Delivered to AA 7/1998. GE non-FADEC engines (of course).
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Thu Dec 03, 2020 4:17 pm

stretch8 wrote:
Thanks for N754CX info wjcandee, cheers!


My pleasure! Thanks for your contributions! Looking back at shop visits to TPA by the combis over the last two years, they have been there between 7-12 weeks, generally a little more or a little less than 2 months. 754CX has been in TPA since 10/31, so it probably has at least a few more weeks to go. OTOH, it was at TPA for a month in May-June 2019, so I guess it depends upon whether it's there for a heavy check or to fix something specific. If the latter, then the visit is likely to be shorter.
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Thu Dec 03, 2020 7:33 pm

As for Amazon's fulfillment center codes in the Inland Empire, the first ones used ONT codes, then they went to SNA, then LGB, then LAX, and now SBD. One exception is PSP1 in Beaumont, CA.
 
MajMattMason
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 6:06 pm

ABX1224 agrees to a concessionaire TA to promote growth, presumably in the Amazon network.
How does this work if Amazon controls the leases therefore were the aircraft are placed?
 
MO11
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 7:23 pm

MajMattMason wrote:
ABX1224 agrees to a concessionaire TA to promote growth, presumably in the Amazon network.
How does this work if Amazon controls the leases therefore were the aircraft are placed?


The leases for the airplanes are separate from the CMI contracts with the operators that fly the airplanes. It happens that Atlas Air Worldwide owns an airplane leasing company and three FAR 121 operators. Air Transport Services Group owns Cargo Aircraft Management (a leasing company), and three FAR 121 operators. Certainly there are cancellation clauses as well as expirations for the CMI contracts. Amazon will go with whoever gives the best deal (best not necessarily meaning lowest price).
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 8:04 pm

The CMI contracts with Amazon are terminable for convenience by Amazon (as is common). The carrier gets and keeps business by being competitive. This means, as MO11 points out, more than just price. Flexibility, reliability, responsiveness are paramount. ATSG has been delivering that sufficiently that Amazon continues to give it aircraft. ABX apparently flies reliably. Stands to reason that if ABX is given more Amazon aircraft and performs, ATSG will continue to get more aircraft to operate, some of which may go to ABX. Right now, the strong relationship between ATSG and Amazon results from the performance of ATI and its people, who were routinely disdained and brutally-attacked in years past by the ABX pilots, just as they did with the DHL Airways (AStar) pilots after the merger. The only thing I hope is that the stupid name-calling and childish antics won't start again if ATSG decides to take its foot off their neck and give ABX more Amazon aircraft. Some of the most-mean and most-vocal of that crew seem to have retired, so I guess we will see. I suspect that most of their pilots just want to come to work and do their thing, so that gives me hope. But I'm not enough of an optimist to believe that anybody learned anything.
Certainly any reappearance of ads and media appearances saying that "Amazon pilots are tired" and Johnny isn't going to get his firetruck for Christmas -- i.e. trying to leverage a threatened disruption during Peak to gain an advantage -- and ABX is finished with Amazon.

DHL has pulled aircraft from ABX for a variety of reasons over the years, but considers it to be a reliable carrier. The issue these days, apparently, is price, owing in significant part to certain work rules. DHL is in love with Amerijet right now, apparently because it performs reliably-enough and is a price-leader. DHL also has contracted with some bottom-scraper carriers reliability-wise, perhaps out of desperation in this environment or perhaps to see if the price/service combination is acceptable. I suspect that if ABX were more price-competitive, its high level of reliability would bring it more business from DHL and other potential customers.

Amazon appears to be experimenting with just flat-out buying its own aircraft, as it did with the 4 Westjet aircraft. It probably isn't dumb enough to try to start its own airline, the best way to make small fortune in the airline business being to start with a large one, and I have never considered the aircraft ownership to be anything that anybody should focus on, i.e. whether they are owned or leased. As with DHL, they're Amazon's airplanes, whether owned or leased, and it doesn't matter whether it's one or the other in terms of who flies them. Being a pilot for an airline owned by the company that leases out the aircraft doesn't give a person any "right" to fly that aircraft. Try to make that the case, and Amazon will either buy its own or lease from someone like GECAS, which is what it is doing with the 737-800s. Having a strong leasing company in the same corporate family is a good thing in that it presents an opportunity to be towards the front of the line in competing for the operating business, but that's all it ever realistically can be.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 8:58 pm

BTW, all that said, congratulations to the ABX pilots for reaching a TA on an amendment to their contract. They're a very-experienced group of pilots with an excellent reputation for competence, and somewhat unique in their culture of captains having uniform expectations. Their procedures are born of their history in the Express business, and I hope they never lose that. I never forget that 262 Israir passengers owe their lives to ABX's culture, including its safety culture and its pilots' high-degree of airmanship.
 
travaz
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 9:30 pm

IMHO it seems to me that Amazon is not afraid of getting its feet wet in a lot of things over the years. If ,and I say if, Amazon wanted to branch out into thier own operation they would have the horsepower and financial resources to bring in some pretty substantial people from passenger operators and cargo operations. I think they could poach some very experienced people. The pandemic has created a lot of uncertainty in management positions, especially the passenger operators, and some of those very skilled people may be looking for some employment and financial security. If i was in my 50's it would be a great way to probably guarantee me a job for the next 10 years or so. As I stated at the beginning it is just my uneducated guess but I believe it makes some sense. Gather up the popcorn and lets see what happens!
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 10:20 pm

Owning your own makes you vulnerable to a legal or illegal strike by a single union, and/or commercials and/or trash talk in the media to create uncertainty about delivery, in the middle of Peak, and an airline is guaranteed to be union. Diversification reduces risk. Not placing their entire future in the hands of a Postal Service or a UPS is why they started their organic delivery in the first place. But you're right, we'll see.
 
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sunking737
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 10:36 pm

Do you think with the large amount of pilots looking for work could be a reason ABX has their TA now??
 
CALMSP
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:20 pm

wjcandee wrote:
Owning your own makes you vulnerable to a legal or illegal strike by a single union, and/or commercials and/or trash talk in the media to create uncertainty about delivery, in the middle of Peak, and an airline is guaranteed to be union. Diversification reduces risk. Not placing their entire future in the hands of a Postal Service or a UPS is why they started their organic delivery in the first place. But you're right, we'll see.


exactly, and AMAZON will do everything in their power to ensure a union is not viable, but I think they may realize that saying no to airline pilots won't work compared to throwing out warehouse workers who try to form a union.
 
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1337Delta764
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sat Dec 05, 2020 11:41 pm

It looks like Amazon has recently opened an auxiliary Sortation Center in Tolleson, AZ, PHXZ. I wonder if this is seasonal or permanent.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sun Dec 06, 2020 12:42 am

CALMSP wrote:
wjcandee wrote:
Owning your own makes you vulnerable to a legal or illegal strike by a single union, and/or commercials and/or trash talk in the media to create uncertainty about delivery, in the middle of Peak, and an airline is guaranteed to be union. Diversification reduces risk. Not placing their entire future in the hands of a Postal Service or a UPS is why they started their organic delivery in the first place. But you're right, we'll see.


exactly, and AMAZON will do everything in their power to ensure a union is not viable, but I think they may realize that saying no to airline pilots won't work compared to throwing out warehouse workers who try to form a union.


A lot of warehouse workers want absolutely-nothing to do with a union, particularly when they are treated fairly, get good benefits, like their work schedule, etc. Relatively-few pilots feel the same way, for good reason. I think the high level of unionization in airlines and railroads may be associated with the fact that both are highly-regulated, strict-work-rule environments where employees operate for enormous periods of time without direct supervision, and where a check against managers who want them to violate work rules or government regulations is often essential, and the consequences of getting fired are enormous. Get fired from BobCo's warehouse? You can walk down the street to JoeCo's warehouse and get hired the same day.
 
wjcandee
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Re: Amazon Fleet Discussion - 2020

Sun Dec 06, 2020 1:12 am

N395AN is scheduled to leave TLV for SNN on Sunday, 12/6. Should be in the US by Monday, I would think. Going to be N499AZ it seems.

If they can get her online fast enough, perhaps she will do some Peak flying by ATI before being put into service with Amazon.

N394AN, which apparently is not going to Amazon, is still in TLV, so is being completed out of order of arrival there. By a couple of months.

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