In The Works: American Utilicraft FF-1080-200

 - May 5, 2008, 11:46 AM

Looking for a way to secure financing to develop its twin-turboprop FF-1080 Freight Feeder, American Utilicraft (AMUC) has signed a memorandum of understanding with Averitt Express, a Tennessee trucking company. The MOU is the first step in AMUC’s plan to provide air-cargo capacity to Averitt, which wants to supplement its logistic network, now based primarily on ground transport, with more airborne freight capacity. Under the proposed capacity services agreement, which the two companies hope to define in the next few months, AMUC would build, own and operate up to 25 aircraft under a Part 121 operating certificate obtained by acquiring a current operator.

Jim Carey, AMUC executive v-p, told AIN, “I can’t talk about money yet, but I can say that we have initial support from a major New York bank that is interested in working with us. We’re comfortable with the financing and just need to nail down the details.” Explaining AMUC’s rationale for the plan, he said, “If we sell 25 aircraft, we would get a net profit of about $1 million per aircraft. But if we operate 25 aircraft, we may be able to get $2 million to $3 million profit per aircraft per year. It is simply a better business plan for AMUC.”

As reported previously in this column, AMUC, based in Lawrenceville, Ga., is now trading on the Pink Sheet Exchange following its delisting from the Over-the-Counter Bulletin Board. Last month, its stock was selling for about $1.20 per share, down from about $1.70 per share in May.