Amazon India has taken to the skies with the launch of Amazon Air, its dedicated cargo fleet for its numerous customers in India. In an official statement, the e-commerce behemoth announced the launch of its maiden air freight service in the country, which came courtesy of its partnership with Bengaluru-based cargo airline Quikjet.

For ensuring speedy deliveries to a greater range of customers across the country, Amazon India will utilize the Boeing 737-800. In the initial days, deliveries across Amazon Air will be restricted to a handful of cities – Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Hyderabad. Quikjet will be in charge of operating and maintaining the aircraft, which will be part of the Amazon Air fleet in the country.

“We’re thrilled to launch Amazon Air in India to ensure we can provide our growing customer base with a great selection, low prices, and faster deliveries,” said Sarah Rhoads, Vice President, Amazon Global Air. This also makes Amazon the first-ever e-commerce firm in the country to have a dedicated air cargo network. For now, the cargo fleet consists of two planes, and each can carry 20,000 shipments, according to Akhil Saxena, Vice President- Customer Fulfillment (APAC, MENA & LATAM) & Worldwide Customer Service, Amazon. This development also makes India the latest company to receive the Amazon Air service, and it seems that it is rather late in its arrival. The service will not be used by any third-party sellers or D2C brands.

Amazon Air was officially introduced on Monday by K.T. Rama Rao, Minister of Industries of Telangana, near the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad in the presence of senior Amazon officials. “Telangana offers a conducive environment for the development of multi-modal connectivity and I take great pride in the fact that Hyderabad has emerged as a major hub for e-commerce distribution and supply chain activities. We have been working towards strengthening the state’s air cargo infrastructure, and we welcome the launch of Amazon Air, which will further assist in making Hyderabad a cargo hub for the country and will create additional employment opportunities in the state,” he said.

However, the fleet will deliver only those orders placed by Prime customers and enable faster deliveries (this seems like a not-so-subtle push towards enticing more customers to sign up for Prime, which will increase the Prime customer count). Abhinav Singh, Director of Customer Fulfilment, Supply Chain and Amazon Transportation Services at Amazon India, said that the planes would fly on two routes and will not have a set frequency – instead, it would depend on order volumes.

Nonetheless, Amazon Air is rather late in coming to India. Today, the South-Asian country boasts of sporting 1.1 million sellers on Amazon, and its status as one of Amazon’s key markets has resulted in the investment of billions by the Seattle-headquartered behemoth in a bid to deepen its influence and penetration in the country. The Amazon Air service was first launched in the US with over three dozen Boeing freighter aircrafts. It was later briefly tested in the UK, and today, the Amazon Air fleet consists of over 110 flights across 70 destinations worldwide. Now, the logistics of the e-commerce player in India just got a huge boost with the arrival of Air.