According to a report in the Financial Times on Thursday, Amazon has fired dozens of R&D and manufacturing personnel from its delivery drone project Amazon Prime Air.
The newspaper also reported that the company has reached a preliminary agreement with two external manufacturers to build parts for its long-awaited drone, adding that it will soon reach more deals with third parties.
The British “Financial Times” quoted people familiar with the matter as saying that all the terms of the agreement signed with Austria’s FACC Aerospace Company and Spain’s Aernnova Aerospace Company are still being finalized.
Amazon, Aernnova and FACC did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.
Jeff Wilke, CEO of Amazon’s global consumer business, said in June that drone deliveries would be completed within a few months.
Wilk said in a blog: “We have been working hard to create a fully electric drone that can fly 15 miles (25 kilometers) and deliver packages under 5 pounds (2.3 kg) to customers in less than 30 minutes.”
“Moreover, with our world-class distribution and delivery network, we hope to expand Prime Air quickly and effectively and deliver packages to customers via drones within a few months.”
The company conducted its first drone delivery test in the UK in 2016. At the time, it said that U.S. regulations have made it more difficult to use drones for transportation in the United States.
In late September, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Amazon’s approval to deliver drone packages.
Amazon said the approval is an “important step” but added that it is still testing and flying drones, but did not disclose when it expects to deliver the drones to shoppers.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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