According to information from the specialist portal Skyliner Magazine, the Irish airline ASL Airlines Ireland has taken over a first, second-hand converted Boeing 737-800F, which was transferred to Shannon in the colors of the virtual logistics service provider Prime Air.
For a long time, there has been speculation in Europe about the entry of the virtual cargo airline Prime Air, which has been operating in the USA for the listed online mail order company Amazon with currently 2015 cargo planes via the main hub Cincinnati since 63. Express freight service DHL is currently acting as an important logistics chain within Europe for Amazon. Some of the freight services for the online giant could actually be outsourced to the European branch of Prime Air, and Amazon has been looking for around 200 new employees in Leipzig / Halle for some time to build up this logistics brand. A year ago it was reported in logistics circles that the multinational ACMI provider ASL Aviation Group, headquartered in Dublin, would be Prime Air's European platform and use up to 10 cargo planes for Amazon.
It is still unclear which network Prime Air will fly in Europe. However, it can be assumed that - as in the USA - primarily large Amazon distribution centers will be connected in the first step. Amazon currently operates larger distribution locations in Germany in Leipzig and Bad Hersfeld (near Kassel), in Poland near Breslau, Wroclaw and Katowice and in the United Kingdom near Doncaster. For some time now, ASL Airlines has been operating up to six weekly cargo flight connections from Wroclaw to Doncaster via Kassel-Calden for Amazon.
For the Austrian market, Amazon has been operating the logistics and distribution center in Großebersdorf, Lower Austria, since 2018 and has another one for the Vienna local market in Liesing, while logistics partner DHL supplies the domestic market via the weekday freight flights between Leipzig and Linz. Since the beginning of the Corona crisis, most of the machines from the Hungarian branch of ASL Airlines have also been used here. It is currently unclear whether Prime Air will also come to Austria and which airport would act as the Amazon gateway.
The Boeing 737-800F, which has now been delivered to Shannon, is by the way a former passenger aircraft of the Irish low-cost airline Ryanair (previous registration EI-DAD). According to reports, more former Ryanair planes will be converted to cargo planes in the next few months.