Amazon’s efforts to deliver its own packages this holiday season may face some hiccups now that pilots who were contracted to deliver for Amazon are picketing.
According to a report by The Wall Street Journal, due to a long-running labor dispute, pilots of the Air Transport Services Group and Atlas Air Worldwide Holdings are striking. Amazon hired them to deliver packages via air on 40 dedicated jets by the end of next year. Sixteen of the jets are expected to be in operation by the end of 2016. The new contracts with Amazon are putting an increased demand on pilots, which is making them angry as they try to reach new labor deals, reported WSJ. The paper pointed to a complaint filed in federal court earlier this week in which ABX Air, a unit of Air Transport Services Group, said holiday shopping and deliveries are being hurt by the dispute and could get worse. It filed a request for a restraining order.
In a statement to WSJ, Amazon said it had deals with different carriers and is “confident in [its] ability to serve customers.” ABX went on to say in the legal filing that the action on the part of pilots resulted in 26 flights being canceled and stranded 1.25 million pounds of cargo for another big customer DHL. If more flights have to be canceled, WSJ said, ABX said it “will result in millions of dollars of freight and packages not timely being delivered to retailers and homes.”
In addition to getting into delivering its own packages this holiday season, Amazon has been preparing for the holiday shopping rush since the summer. In August, Amazon said it was in the process of adding 18 warehouse facilities in preparation for the holiday crush. That triples up the warehouses slotted for the same quarter last year — when Amazon built only six.