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Business Technology

Amazon is taking to the air with cargo planes. Will passenger jets follow?


Don’t look now but Amazon is setting up an airline. 

Not content with doing everything from selling groceries, to handling data warehousing to making award winning TV shows, Amazon is taking to the skies with Prime Air. 

Don’t get too excited. Hyperactive chief executive Jeff Bezos, who has already been experimenting with drones, isn’t offering passenger flights. Yet.

Prime Air will consist of cargo planes. The first of a 40-strong fleet will make its debut at an air show in the company’s hometown of Seattle. 

However, given Amazon’s propensity of entering and disrupting businesses, would you put it past Mr Bezos to launch an experiment with passenger planes in future? Airlines all too frequently offer a miserable service to their customers. Theirs is an industry ripe for a bit of disruption from an enterprising new entrant. 

For now, however, Prime Air’s job will be to assist with the already rapid deliveries offered to those who sign up to company’s Prime service. The fleet will help the company to provide one and two day package delivery in the US. 

Such an “insourcing” move, which will tighten Amazon’s control over its delivery network, amounts to a reversal of traditional business practice. 

More conventional companies typically like to outsource everything outside of their core functions. Why do it ourselves if we can get someone else to do it cheaper for us? What? Customers might suffer? But if we outsource we can blame someone else if anything thing goes wrong. There’ll be a bit of tit for tat between us and our service provider before the customer gives up. Result!

It’s this sort of thinking that has made dealing with large businesses such a thoroughly miserable experience. When the customer wants to speak to someone they’ll be lucky if they end up getting routed through to a calls centre on the other side of the world. If they ever get past the automated phone menu.  – READ MORE

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