Amazon Air signs firm deal to lease 10 A330-300P2Fs

Aircraft owned by funds and accounts managed by KKR with Altavair acting as lease servicer.

Amazon Air signs firm deal to lease 10 A330-300P2Fs

Amazon Air has signed a firm agreement to lease ten A330-300P2F freighters from Altavair, a leader in commercial aviation finance, to help fulfil its one-day delivery promise to Prime customers.

"The aircraft will be operated for Amazon by Hawaiian Airlines, which has had A330s as a key element of its fleet since 2010. The ten airframes are being converted from passenger aircraft to freighters by Elbe Flugzeugwerke GmbH (EFW), the centre of excellence for Airbus Passenger-to-Freighter (P2F) conversions," says a release from Airbus.

Amazon Air has been operating a fleet of Boeing aircraft (78 at the last count), and this is for the first time that the e-commerce giant is inducting aircraft from Airbus.

Philippe Karam, Director, Global Air Fleet & Sourcing, Amazon says: "We're thrilled to welcome Airbus to our Amazon Air fleet. These A330-300s will not only be the first of their kind in our fleet, they'll also be the newest, largest aircraft for Amazon Air, allowing us to deliver more customer packages with each flight."

The first of the A330-300P2F aircraft is expected to join the Amazon Air fleet in late 2023, the release added.

"The endorsement of our freighters by Amazon speaks volumes about the market value of the A330 and the position Airbus wide-bodies are gaining in the cargo market," says Christian Scherer, Chief Commercial Officer, Airbus and Head of Airbus International. "Amazon has built a reputation around delivering their goods to our doorsteps with extraordinary speed and consistency, and we're very proud that our aircraft are trusted to become a key link in that remarkable logistics chain."

While both A330-200 and A330-300 aircraft are eligible for conversion, the longer-fuselage A330-300P2F is particularly suited for integrators and express carriers, due to its high volumetric payload capability with lower-density cargo, the release added.

The A330P2F conversion programme, launched in 2012, is a collaboration between ST Aerospace, Airbus and their joint venture EFW.

The aircraft are owned by funds and accounts managed by KKR with Altavair acting as lease servicer, says a release from Altavair.

"We are thrilled to have presented this opportunity to Amazon Air and look forward to growing this relationship further," says Steve Rimmer, CEO, Altavair. "Our ability to execute this complex transaction in a challenging environment for the aviation industry is a testament to our decades of experience leasing cargo aircraft, our team's creativity and KKR's ongoing support of our strategy. We are very appreciative that Amazon Air placed its confidence with the Altavair team to make this transaction a reality."

Sarah Rhoads, Vice President, Amazon Global Air adds: "We're pleased to work with Altavair. The team's expertise and tenure in the industry make them an excellent partner, which enables us to focus on operational excellence to deliver on customer promises."

Since inception in 2003, Altavair has completed over $10 billion in commercial aircraft lease transactions with over 60 airline customers in 28 countries, the release added.

Amazon to take 15% stake in Hawaiian
"We are excited to help serve Amazon customers by providing additional air cargo capacity and logistics support," says Peter Ingram, President and CEO, Hawaiian Airlines. "This recognises our experience in providing safe and reliable operations, our incredible front-line team, and our shared focus on the customer. This relationship provides a catalyst to grow our business and the unique opportunity to diversify our revenue sources while capitalizing on our established strengths."

Hawaiian intends to establish a pilot base on the continental U.S., grow existing maintenance bases, and expand the hiring of pilots, mechanics, dispatchers, supply chain employees and others who will help support this new cargo operation, says an official release.
Hawaiian has also issued Amazon warrants to acquire up to 15 percent (post-issuance) of its common shares. The warrants are exercisable over the next 9 years, the release added.
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