AAI Acquisition, the US subsidiary of Russian private investment firms Kaskol and Industrial Investors, has completed its purchase of the former Adam Aircraft - developer of the A700 very light jet and A500 piston twin. The $10 million deal comes five months after Colorado-based Adam filed for bankruptcy due to a lack of funding.

AAIA will be controlled by Kaskol/Industrial Investors subsidiary Avia Management Group (AMG), created three years ago to manage general aviation projects including Moscow-based air taxi operator Dexter and business jet airline Velvet Skylines.

AMG board chairman Eugeny Andrachnikov says $150 million will be invested in AAIA - which is set to undergo a rebranding effort - with a view to clinching US certification of the A700 in 2009. Series production of 100 aircraft a year should be reached in 2010.

Adam Aircraft A700

Adam Aircraft had a backlog of 322 A700s valued at $800 million and Industrial Investors president Sergei Generalov says dialogue has opened with existing customers to reaffirm their order commitment under redrafted terms and conditions. He says the A700 price tag will fall between $2.5 million and $2.9 million.

AAIA says the A500 programme will remain idle for the time being. "It doesn't make sense to revitalise the A500 when all the demand is for the A700," says AAIA senior executive Jan D'Angelo.

Meanwhile, AMG is considering buying a number of A700s for its Dexter air taxi service, which operates a fleet of four Pilatus PC-12 and three Myasischev M101T Gzhel single-engined turboprops. The company, which also has 20 Cessna Citation Mustang very light jets on order, says it is revising an earlier deal for 45 M101Ts as the manufacturer, NAZ Sokol, "is overloaded with military orders, and only able to produce six to seven M101Ts a year".

Dexter intends to expand its fleet to 130 aircraft in the next five years. This number will allow it to "cover the whole of Russian territory" and "enter the CIS and European air taxi market".

Source: Flight International