SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Natilus, a U.S. corporation designing and producing the world’s first autonomous aircraft for efficient and sustainable freight transport, has announced that Ameriflight, an industry leader in freight operations, has become the first regional U.S. carrier to sign an Aircraft Purchase Agreement with Natilus. The Ameriflight agreement for 20 Natilus Kona feeder aircraft valued at $134M brings total commitments to $6.8 billion for delivery of 460+ aircraft.
Ameriflight is the nation’s largest Part 135 cargo airline, serving 200 destinations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and South America - with more than 1,500 weekly departures. As a critical part of the supply chain with UPS being its largest customer, Ameriflight’s primary business is moving high priority air freight to and from remote areas across the country for overnight express carriers.
“Through this strategic partnership, we are positioning Ameriflight to build the roadmap for the future in cargo operations and be the first regional operator for Natilus in the United States,” said Alan Rusinowitz, President and Chief Operating Officer of Ameriflight. “Our goal is to grow our product and transform the way we do business through innovation and collaboration, and now through this new partnership with Natilus, Ameriflight will connect the world safely within a sustainable business model.”
“Innovation in design allows the Natilus fleet to carry more volume at lower costs, and the exploration of new sustainable fuels will lower carbon emissions,” explained Aleksey Matyushev, Co-Founder and CEO of Natilus. “The Ameriflight agreement is a major move forward for the air cargo industry to strengthen the regional supply chain.”
The Natilus fleet of carbon fiber, blended-wing-body designed cargo aircraft offers a 60% reduction in the cost of operations and cuts carbon emissions by half - enabling the opening of new and emerging markets in remote areas where larger aircraft do not have the runway capacity and/or infrastructure to land, through both scheduled and specialized operations. This will provide needed medicines, food, and other important goods to develop these outlying areas.
“Developing autonomous solutions that are purpose-built to address the needs of the air cargo market is one important step toward developing more robust long-term solutions,” continued Matyushev. “Autonomous technologies seek to utilize labor more efficiently by allowing a single pilot to control multiple aircraft, helping address the dire pilot shortage.”
Ameriflight is the nation’s largest Part 135 cargo airline. Founded in 1968, Ameriflight has grown from a small air charter and cargo service carrier to an international operator with 14 bases, 1,500 weekly departures, and 200 destinations. The company is headquartered in Dallas, TX, and has more than 500 employees, including over 150 pilots and over 100 aircraft. Ameriflight provides feeder services for overnight express carriers, as well as on-demand cargo charter services for customers with an array of priority shipping needs through its Expedited Supply Chain Solutions department. For more information, visit us at ameriflight.com.
Natilus was founded in 2016 to democratize the air cargo transport industry by designing and manufacturing a new fleet of blended wing body (BWB) autonomous freight aircraft that will commoditize airfreight while reducing air freight emissions by half. Natilus aircraft use existing ground infrastructure and standard air cargo containers to produce an innovative turnkey solution for customers. The Natilus family of cargo aircraft includes:
- Kona - 3.8 ton payload short-haul feeder UAV
- Alisio - 60 ton payload medium/long range UAV
- Nordes - 100 ton payload long-range UAV