The company that bought bankrupt Adam Aircraft — AAI Acquisitions Inc. — plans to significantly cut operations at Centennial Airport, suspend airplane certification and halt plans to hire hundreds due to the economic downturn, according to airport officials.
“They are pairing down the company because of the investors and the uncertainty in the economic market,” said Robert Olislagers, aviation director at Centennial Airport in Englewood.
“The company has had a strategic readjustment,” said Jan D’Angleo, AAI spokesman, declining to give more details but saying more information will be released at a later time.
AAI Acquisitions purchased the assets of Adam Aircraft for $ 10 million in April, after the very-light jet manufacturer liquidated under Chapter 7 bankruptcy in February.
In the last several months, AAI rehired 150 employes at its headquarters at Centennial Airport, and had said it would increase that number to 300 by year-end and to more than 500 by the end of 2009.
“That’s out the door right now,” Olislagers said. “We already went through this drill with Adam Aircraft. It’s obviously very unfortunate. It appears that AAI is getting caught up in the credit crunch out there. It’s a worldwide problem.”
AAI Acquisitions is funded by a Russian private equity firm called Industrial Investments, which manages assets worth $ 3 billion. The Moscow firm also operates an air-taxi company in Russia called Dexter and owns a private-jet charter club called the Velvet Club.
It’s unclear where that funding currently stands.
When Jack Braly became CEO and president of AAI Acquisitions, he revamped the certification process of the A700 very-light jet that was designed by Adam Aircraft.
That process has been suspended, Olislagers said.
Prior to liquidating, Adam Aircraft employed 800 at three manufacturing facilities in Englewood, Pueblo and Ogden, Utah. AAI Acquisitions retained many of the employees who worked on the A700 who are familiar with the design and capabilities of the jet.