How Amazon already impacted Israel’s economy

Israel Aerospace Industries is responsible for converting 80 percent of Amazon’s airplane fleet.

By World Israel News Staff

Amazon delivered a shock to the Israel system when it announced back in April that it was entering the Israeli market. There is disagreement whether Amazon will help or hurt local businesses, but TheMarker website points out in a Tuesday report that Amazon has helped Israeli business already in one sense – Israel Aerospace Industries is responsible for converting 80 percent of Amazon’s airplane fleet.

Amazon has its own airline, a fleet of 40 planes worth $915 million, that goes under the name Prime Air. It helps transfer goods bought and sold by its customers from place to place. The first of its fleet was unveiled in 2016.

The planes are based on Boeing 767 wide body passenger planes that were converted to cargo planes. IAI helped convert most of them, carrying out most of the conversions in the Israeli city of Lod, TheMarker reports. Part of the conversion includes sealing the passenger windows and installing a much larger door in the side of the plane for loading and unloading cargo.

The online site reports that IAI has five conversion lines, the most recent being opened in Mexico City.

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TheMarker says Amazon chose to convert planes rather than buy new ones due to the steep savings. A new plane costs $70-$80 million. The purchase of a 20-to-30-year-old passenger plane is a third of that price, with the plane still being good for another 20 years.

Amazon ended 2018 with an operating profit of $12.4 billion, up 200% from 2017.