Erickson Air-Crane Incorporated (NASDAQ:EAC)(“Erickson” or “the Company”), a leading global provider of aviation services to a diverse mix of commercial and government customers, and the vertically-integrated manufacturer and operator of the powerful heavy-lift Erickson S-64 Aircrane helicopter, has announced the signing of a new, multi-year aerial firefighting contract to support National Aerial Firefighting Centre (“NAFC”) operations in Australia. The Company noted that this was its largest Australian firefighting contract to date, calling for the provision of six Aircrane helicopters, with the option for additional aircraft as needed, based on fire conditions and pending aircraft availability. Udo Rieder, Chief Executive Officer of Erickson, commented, “Erickson has been saving lives and resources fighting fires in Australia for 16 years. This new contract represents an important continuation of our relationship with the NAFC, one of the world’s leading practitioners of aerial firefighting. We’re proud to maintain a deep and established presence in Australia with this contract, and believe that the NAFC’s ongoing commitment to Erickson reflects our excellent track record, high standard of service, and cost-effective solution. Our newest partner in the region, Kestrel Aviation – with whom we’re teaming to provide the full range of diversified aerial support – is an established helicopter company with deep experience fighting fire in the rugged Australian environment.” The contract is for three years with two optional one-year extensions, with a total value of approximately $60 million. Erickson will provide six S-64 Aircrane helicopters, equipped with the Company’s proprietary, 2,650-gallon fire suppression system, a detachable water tank with multiple refill options and eight coverage levels for targeted fire suppression. Initially, two Aircranes will be stationed in Victoria, two in New South Wales, one in South Australia, and one in Western Australia. The Company noted that this contract is key to the global, seasonal optimization of its firefighting operations. Erickson is able to mitigate seasonality in this key market by procuring long term agreements in the alternating northern and southern hemisphere fire seasons.
About Erickson Air-Crane IncorporatedErickson is a leading global provider of aviation services to a diverse mix of commercial and government customers. Erickson currently operates a diverse fleet of 91 rotary-wing and fixed wing aircraft, including a fleet of 20 heavy-lift S-64 Aircranes. This fleet supports a wide and worldwide variety of government and commercial customers, across a broad range of aerial services, including critical supply and logistics for deployed military forces, humanitarian relief, firefighting, timber harvesting, infrastructure construction, and crewing. Erickson also maintains a vertical manufacturing capability for the S-64 Aircrane, related components, and other aftermarket support and maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for the S-64 Aircrane and other aircraft. Founded in 1971, Erickson is headquartered in Portland, Oregon and maintains facilities and operations in North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia-Pacific. For more information, please visit www.ericksonaircrane.com. Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to substantial risks and uncertainties that could cause actual performance or results to differ materially from those expressed in or suggested by the forward-looking statements. You can identify forward-looking statements by words such as “believe,” “may,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend,” “plan,” “expect,” “predict,” “potential,” or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations but they involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements as a result of risks and uncertainties, which include: that we recently completed both the Air Amazonia and Evergreen Helicopters, Inc. (“EHI”) acquisitions and we may not realize the benefits of these acquisitions on a timely basis or at all; our ability to integrate these businesses successfully or in a timely and cost-efficient manner; our ability to successfully expand these businesses, enter new markets and manage international expansion; that we do not have extensive operating history in the aerial services segments, in the geographic areas, or with the types of aircraft historically operated by EHI and Air Amazonia; that the anticipated reduction in troops in Afghanistan in the near-term may adversely affect us; that we operate in certain dangerous and war-affected areas, which may result in hazards to our fleet and personnel; the hazards associated with our helicopter operations, which involve significant risks and which may result in hazards that may not be covered by our insurance or may increase the cost of our insurance; our safety record; our substantial indebtedness; that we and our subsidiaries may still incur significant additional indebtedness; our failure to obtain any required financing on favorable terms; compliance with debt obligations and our substantial indebtedness, which could adversely affect our financial condition and impair our ability to grow and operate our business; cancellations, reductions or delays in customer orders; our ability to collect on customer receivables; weather and seasonal fluctuations that impact aerial services activities; competition; reliance on a small number of large customers; the impact of short-term contracts; the availability and size of our fleet; the impact of government spending; the ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; the impact of environmental and other regulations, including FAA regulations and similar international regulations; our ability to accurately forecast financial guidance; our ability to convert backlog into revenues and appropriately plan expenses; worldwide economic conditions (including conditions in Greece and Italy); the fluctuation in the price of fuel; the impact of changes in the value of foreign currencies; and the risks of doing business in developing countries and politically or economically volatile areas; as well as other risks and uncertainties more fully described under the heading “Risk Factors” in our most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K as well as the other reports we file with the SEC from time to time.
You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. Erickson Air-Crane assumes no obligation to update forward-looking statements to reflect actual results, changes in assumptions, or changes in other factors affecting forward-looking information, except to the extent required by applicable laws.