Have you ever met or known a recently retired individual, who buys a metal detector and then starts canvassing the beach, lakefront, alleys, ditches, back yards and roads looking for potential hidden treasures?
Or if not a treasure, maybe an old coin, piece of jewelry, or discarded beer can that might have some value.
That’s not exactly what Jeff Bezos is doing now that he has officially stepped down as CEO of Amazon, but his company is searching an airplane graveyard in Arizona looking for discarded planes they can turn into cargo transporters.
Amazon as a business has boomed the past 15 months, in large part due to the pandemic increasing online shopping and e-commerce, and white that has been great for their market cap and stock price, they are running low on cargo planes to transport goods around the country and world.
Outside of Tucson, Arizona, at the Pinal Air Park in Marana is an enormous airline graveyard where planes go to die. Rows upon rows of old planes rest there, and it’s quite a sight to behold if you’ve ever been there.
During the pandemic, when airline passenger travel came to a screeching halt, airlines needed a place to store the aircraft that had been taken out of service until business picked up, and an additional 400 planes in good working order were essentially stored there until things picked up.
According to a story in Business Insider, this Pinal Air Park has been essentially been acting as an outdoor mall for shoppers looking for planes.
Shoppers like Amazon, and other cargo airlines have been plucking up planes at a rapid pace. Roughly 50 aircraft have been sold, and according to the story the most popular aircraft are Boeing’s 737-800 and 767-300ER.
Once cargo carriers buy these former passenger planes, they have to be converted so they can carry massive quantities of goods.
Amazon sends most planes they need to be converted to Israel Aerospace Industries, so it’s not an especially fast process, especially considering the demand right now.
Amazon is rapidly buying planes, and their strategy is to have 95% of Americans within a 1-day shipping range.
What? Wait a full-day for a product? Where are the drones??