Previously focused only on using the space in the hold of their passenger planes, Brazilian carriers Azul and Gol decided to expand their operations in air cargo.
The reason is the same as in many parts of the world, the growth of e-commerce, which leveraged the demand for air transport for fast deliveries.
Azul already operated relatively discreetly in the cargo segment with the operation of two Boeing 737-400Fs that entered service in 2018. However, the airline founded by David Neeleman decided to carry out a quick conversion of some E-Jets for transport of small loads.
Currently, it has three E195 “Preighter”, as the aircraft is called since it can return to carrying passengers with minor modifications.
Last week, Amazon and Azul closed an agreement for the delivery of e-commerce packages in the northern region of Brazil to be made by the airline’s planes.
According to Amazon, the delivery time for deliveries in the cities of Manaus and Belém, the largest in the region, will drop to two days.
Cargo guarantee on your jets
Gol, which has its cargo division in its Gollog arm, is receiving Boeing 737-800BCF aircraft, converted to freighters. Two of the six planes contracted have already been flying with the company since August and draw attention for displaying a yellow painting with the “Mercado Livre” brand.
It is a South American version of Amazon, founded in Argentina, but which has a huge presence in Brazil. According to Celso Ferrer, CEO of Gol, Mercado Livre was a tailor-made partner to ensure scale in the operation, and which also has a similar interest, that of making deliveries faster in regions with less infrastructure.
The prospects for both are so good that Gol has another six Boeing 737 freighters as an option and Azul has plans to expand its E-Jets cargo fleet in the coming years.