Hawaii says ‘Aloha’ to Amazon Air

A light/dark blue Amazon Prime jet at the cargo terminal, with wing tips folded up, as viewed from the side. Amazon Air is opening new airport facilities in Hawaii.

Amazon Air launched cargo operations in Maui and on Hawaii Island last week to help facilitate speedier deliveries for Prime customers.

The retail giant’s two newest regional gateways are at Kahului Airport and Kona International Airport, the company said in a news release shared with FreightWaves that hasn’t been posted on its website. It first announced the start of air cargo operations in a tweet last week.

Amazon’s (NASDAQ: AMZN) in-house airline is now operating daily flights from its mainland regional gateway at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside, California, to Hawaii.

The new cargo terminals supplement the existing gateway — at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu — which opened in April 2018. 

“We are excited to expand Amazon Air’s operations in Hawaii so that we can deliver for Hawaiian customers who are relying on us during this time,” said Chris Preston, director of Amazon Air gateway operations, in a statement. “We look forward to improving the delivery window for customers in Maui and on Hawaii Island over time, just like we did in Honolulu when we first began operations.”

The launch of the regional gateways follows Amazon’s land acquisition in Honolulu last month. Media outlets in the state and real estate developers reported that Amazon bought a piece of industrial property near Honolulu Harbor from Honolulu Servco Pacific, an auto and truck distributor. 

In July, Amazon also opened a new regional air hub in Lakeland, Florida, as it rapidly spreads its air network to all regions of the country to keep up with its e-commerce business. It plans to open its primary air hub next summer at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport.

“Amazon has already invested more than $100 million in our great state and has more than 6,500 small and medium-sized businesses growing their business using Amazon products and services. We look forward to the continued benefits Amazon’s presence will have for customers and commerce across our islands,” Gov. David Ige said in a statement.

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


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