Amazon is expanding its airplane fleet, diminishing further its reliance on major delivery services like UPS, FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service.
The company said Friday it will lease 10 Boeing 767 planes, bringing its total fleet to 50 with the goal of getting orders to people faster and more reliably.
Amazon’s fleet of planes is far smaller than those at UPS and FedEx, which number in the hundreds, but it’s pushed in recent years to close that gap and gain more control over deliveries.
Amazon launched a program over the summer that allows contractors around the country to deliver Amazon packages in vans stamped with the Amazon smile logo. It also plans to open a package sorting hub at Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas next year and another at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 2021.
FedEx CEO Frederick Smith said this week that he didn’t see Amazon Air as a competitor and that it was “fantastical” to think it could disrupt FedEx.
A number of industry watchers see a more significant threat.
Analysts at Morgan Stanley estimated this month that FedEx and UPS could lose a combined 2 percent of revenue this year to Amazon Air.
The Seattle company says the 10 new jets will join the rest of its fleet over the next two years.