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Airline execs say Amazon is looking to lease planes for shipping service

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FedEx and UPS might face new competition in 2016. The Seattle Times reports today that Amazon is looking to lease 20 Boeing 767 jets in an effort to build its own air-delivery service. Unnamed cargo-industry executives tell the paper that the online retailer has approached multiple cargo-aircraft lessors in the hopes of securing enough planes to launch its operation at the end of January. The launch of this service would give Amazon at least some control over its own package delivery, thereby avoiding catastrophic delays. One anonymous analyst suggests Amazon could deliver goods for other companies, too, which would ultimately allow it to directly compete with both UPS and FedEx.

This most recent news follows a November Motherboard report. At the time, an aviation holdings company in Wilmington, Ohio was shipping consumer goods for a mysterious client under the project name "Aerosmith." That client is thought to be Amazon. The company behind Aerosmith leased four Boeing 767s that apparently went to four cities near Amazon distribution centers: Allentown, PA (ABE), Ontario, CA (ONT), Tampa, FL (TPA) and Oakland, CA (OAK). Motherboard confirmed that FedEx, UPS, and DHL were not associated with these daily flights.

The launch of this service would ensure Amazon controls its own package delivery

Although Amazon would not comment on any of the rumored services, the company has demonstrated an interest in getting its goods to consumers more efficiently. It considered drone delivery and the creation of a drone superhighway, as well as the opening of physical stores. The cutting out of air-cargo middlemen would help satisfy the company's shipping ambitions.