Dubbed "Amazon One," the Boeing 767 is one of 40 cargo airplanes in a fleet Amazon is leasing to help serve its Amazon Prime members who get free two-day shipping on many of the retailer's items.
“Creating an air transportation network is expanding our capacity to ensure great delivery speeds for our Prime members for years to come,” Dave Clark, Amazon’s senior vice president of worldwide operations said in a statement.
The fleet is Amazon's first major step in building its air delivery network. The company has been privately testing delivery drones but has to adhere to federal restrictions, including not flying at night and ensuring the vehicle never flies out of the operator's line of sight.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said he envisions drone delivery one day becoming as common as seeing a mail truck.
In the past year, Amazon has also turned to the gig economy as a way to expedite deliveries. Amazon Flex is available in more than two dozen U.S. cities and allows independent contractors to pick up packages for other people and deliver them in their area, for an hourly fee.
Alyssa Newcomb is an NBC News contributor who writes about business and technology.