Project Amazon Prime Air Drone Sacks Hundreds of Employees, Taps New Producers: Report

The Financial Times announced on Thursday that Amazon has laid off hundreds of R&D and production workers from its delivery drone project, Amazon Prime Air.

The company has signed preliminary agreements with two foreign suppliers to build component parts of its long-awaited drone, the newspaper said, adding that it may soon finalise further deals with third parties.

The FT article claimed that the full terms of the agreements with FACC Aerospace of Austria and Aernnova Aerospace of Spain were still being negotiated, quoting a source familiar with Amazon’s plans.

In June, Jeff Wilke, the chief executive officer of the global customer sector of Amazon, said that drone delivery will be available “in months.”

“We’ve been hard at work building fully electric drones that can fly up to 15 miles (25 kilometres) and deliver packages under five pounds (2.3 kilogrammes) to customers in less than 30 minutes,” Wilke said in a blog post.

In 2016, the firm carried out its first evaluation in Britain for drone delivery. It reported at the time that US regulations made it more difficult to use drones for delivery in the US.

Later in September, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) granted Amazon clearance for the shipping of parcels by drones.

Amazon said the certification is a “important step,” but noted that the drones are already being checked and flying. It did not specify when drones are supposed to be shipped to shoppers.

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