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Amazon Fulfillment Takes Flight

Rumors of Amazon taking to the air have been confirmed, and we’re not talking drones.

The e-tailer’s fulfillment arm, Amazon Fulfillment Services, has leased 20 Boeing 767 freighter jets from Air Transport Services Group (ATSG) to help keep up with the one- and two-day delivery demands of its growing Prime customer pool.

The seven-year agreement, in the works since last summer, covers the U.S. only and includes aircraft operation and gateway and logistics services.

“We are excited to serve Amazon customers by providing additional air cargo capacity and logistics support to ensure great shipping speeds for customers,” said ATSG president/CEO Joe Hete.

“We’re excited to supplement our existing delivery network with a great new provider … to ensure air cargo capacity,” added Dave Clark, Amazon’s worldwide operations and customer service VP.

The long-in-the-wind plane plan could tie in with Amazon’s vision for a global e-commerce and supply-chain network that would bring goods to America directly from Asian merchants and factories via Amazon-deployed trucks, planes and ships.

The project, dubbed “Dragon Boat,” was detailed in an internal report obtained last month by Bloomberg News.

In other Amazon developments, Capital One has become the latest company to join the Alexa bandwagon. Starting today, customers of the banking concern with access to Amazon’s proprietary Echo, Echo Dot, Tap and Fire TV devices can check financial information and conduct limited transactions through the e-tailer’s digital assistant.

Capital One joins a growing roster of businesses that have thrown in with Amazon’s open Alexa platform, including Hue, Insteon, Pandora, Samsung SmartThings, Spotify, Uber, Wemo, Wink and, perhaps most tempting, Domino’s pizza.