Amazon is acquiring aging aircraft to expand its air cargo fleet, which could make it harder for the company to meet climate pledges. A Bloomberg report describes how the company leases converted Boeing 767s, which have higher emissions and use more fuel than newer jets. This could make it difficult for Amazon to meet pledges, like its vow to make half of its shipments net zero carbon by 2030.
- Amazon leased a dozen more 767s in June. It now operates at least 68 jets in the U.S., which have an average age of ~26 years compared to UPS' 20 years, FedEx's 23 years, and Lufthansa AG’s 11 years.
- While using older planes for freight can make economic sense, "it may not be a great case for the environment," said UCL Energy Institute professor Andreas Schafer. A 16-year-old 767, for example, is about one-third the price of a new one.
- Amazon Air has been making more flights to meet increased demand during the pandemic. It operated 38% more U.S. flights in the first six months of 2020 than the same time last year.
- Bloomberg notes that cargo planes fly significantly fewer hours per day than commercial jets.
- In related news, Amazon's lofty goal to zero out its carbon footprint by 2040 faces many hurdles, including the lack of a specific plan.