Amazon said on Thursday last week that it had laid off dozens of staff working on the e-commerce giant’s delivery drone project as part of a reorganization of the team.

The U.S. retailer has been working on a plan to deliver goods to millions of its customers by using a fleet of unmanned drones, and had received federal approval in August to begin testing commercial deliveries in the country.

The online retail giant has reached tentative deals with Spain’s Aernnova Aerospace and Austria’s FACC Aerospace to manufacture component parts of its drone.

Amazon had sent out a “request for proposal” to multiple companies over the past year, meaning additional deals with third parties could also be reached soon, the person said.

Seven years since the project was first unveiled, Amazon’s drone deliveries are still “years away,” the person said, but development will “slowly but surely” progress at the start of next year.

Kristen Kish, an Amazon spokesperson said:

“As part of our regular business operations, we are reorganizing one small team within our larger Prime Air organization to allow us to best align with the needs of our customers and the business. For affected employees, we are working to find roles in the areas where we are hiring that best match their experience and needs.”

The two external manufacturers in question, Aernnova and FACC, specialise in the manufacturing of aircraft components for the aviation industry. Some of their clients include Airbus, Boeing, and Bombardier.

Sources:Reuters; Business Insider

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