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U.S. e-commerce giant Amazon Friday unveiled its first branded cargo plane, as it looks to speed up and take more control of its delivery process.
The "Amazon One" is a Boeing 767-300, operated by Amazon's air cargo provider Atlas Air. It is one of 40 aircraft that the company plans to lease from Atlas Air and ATSG. Currently there are 11 dedicated — so far unbranded — planes flying for Amazon with the additional planes rolling out over the next few years.
In an "ode" to its Prime members, the number on the tail of the aircraft is a prime number. Prime members pay a subscription for perks such as free two-day shipping and access to its music and video streaming service.
Amazon's customer base is big enough across the U.S. and globally that a fleet of cargo planes could help it reach customers quicker, something that it is continually trying to do.
"Creating an air transportation network is expanding our capacity to ensure great delivery speeds for our Prime members for years to come," Dave Clark, Amazon's Senior Vice President of worldwide operations, said in a press release.
The company has been on a drive to improve delivery speeds. It recently launched Amazon Flex, a scheme that lets people earn money delivering packages for Amazon. The U.S. e-commerce giant also has a network of 4,000 trailers to increase trucking capacity, as well as over 125 fulfilment centers globally and 20 sortation centers where robots can pick parcels, according to the company's press release.
Amazon also has plans to begin using drones for deliveries. Last month, the company struck a deal with the U.K. government to test its unmanned aerial vehicles in Britain.