The second plane began flying in and out of Stockton on Sunday, according to Airport Director Harry Mavrogenes. The third is scheduled to begin service Aug. 8, although that date may change.
“As soon as they put the second one down, I get a phone call. They said, ‘Well, starting in August we’re going to have a third flight,’” Mavrogenes said.
He said the airport has room to accommodate one more of the Boeing 767 cargo jets.
Air Transport International, which manages the cargo service for Amazon, began flying out of Stockton’s airport on Feb. 1. It’s part of Amazon’s plan to cut shipping costs related to providing one- and two-day deliveries for Amazon Prime customers.
ATI runs service at a half dozen airports throughout the company, all of which are located within 30 miles of an Amazon fulfillment center. Amazon has a center in Tracy, 17 miles from Stockton’s airport. Another is located in Patterson, 38 miles away.
Mavrogenes said the flights support the increasingly important logistics industry in San Joaquin County and provide jobs at the airport. He said the parking lot that was created for the service is filled with workers’ vehicles.
“That first flight, they said they were going to hire 30, 40 people — and they hired locally to do all the groundwork here,” said Mavrogenes. “And now, with three flights, I suspect they’re going to be adding.”
The flight that began Sunday also makes stops in Charlotte, N.C. and Dallas.
According to Mavrogenes, Amazon has created a similar partnership with Atlas Air, which shows the company is focused on delivery costs down.
“They’re working on building it up as a business for their own use and one of the articles I saw claimed they’ve saved over $450 million by doing this, by creating their own air cargo company and not relying on someone else,” Mavrogenes said.