Amazon Air launches operations at new Florida hub

White Amazon jet with dark blue tail parked at new Lakeland, Florida, air hub, view from rear and above.

Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) inaugurated its new regional air hub near Tampa, Florida, with the arrival of the first freighter flight on Thursday.

The 42-acre air terminal is at Lakeland Linder International Airport, a general aviation airport. Amazon operates a large fulfillment center in Lakeland, which is chock full of distribution centers.

Amazon invested more than $100 million in the 285,000-square-foot air cargo complex, which includes ramp space for seven all-cargo planes, city officials stated last year.

Under the 20-year lease, as reported by local newspaper The Ledger, the e-commerce giant will pay the city $80,000 per month, with three 10-year renewal options and the ability to expand on adjoining land. The state and localities provided Amazon with an incentive package to build in Lakeland.

The first flight originated from Sacramento International Airport. Amazon said the package sort facility will receive several cargo flights per day operated by contractors for its in-house airline, Amazon Air.

“This new location represents Amazon Air’s largest facility in the Southeast and will drive increased investment and commerce in the region and create hundreds of jobs,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis in a statement. 

Amazon has been focused on expanding its network of airports the past couple of years to increase delivery speed for its Prime customers, who are promised one- and two-day shipping options. It is scheduled to open a Western air hub in San Bernardino, California, early next year.  Amazon’s primary air hub at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport is also scheduled to be finished next year.

Click here for more FreightWaves/American Shipper stories by Eric Kulisch.


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