All You Need to Know About Baltia Air Lines

 US based start-up, Baltia Airlines, has painted its second acquired aircraft – a Boeing 747-200. The airline acquired the ex- Northwest aircraft, N706BL, from Kalitta Air in December, 2010. With this recent purchase, Baltia’s fleet now comprises of two Boeing 747-200s.

Who is Baltia?

 Looking like one of the odd airline start-ups, Baltia has been in the start-up mode since 1989. It states that its primary goal “is to become the leading U.S. airline in the Trans-Atlantic market between the major U.S. cities and capital cities of Eastern Europe, including Russia, Latvia, Ukraine, and Belarus.”
 Baltia is headed by Igor Dmitrowsky, who acts as the Prseident and CEO of the company. A Latvian national born in 1956, Igor started his first US based company in 1979 – as American Kefir Distribution, a diary distribution company. He completed American Kefir’s public offering in 1986, and retired from it in 1987. Since 1989, Igor has been building Baltia.
 Trading in the stock market (NASDAQ) as Baltia Air Lines Inc. (BLTA), Baltia’s stock data shows that today it employs 20 people with assets of 3.43m. The airline’s ICAO code is BTL.

The Routes

 Based at New York JFK, Baltia has long maintained that its first route would be to St. Petersburg, Russia, from JFK. With two aircraft in its fleet now, Baltia believes that it is inching closer to the first flight on this un-served route.

 The Fleet
 Baltia acquired its first aircraft in 2009, when it took delivery of N705BL, an ex-PIA aircraft from Logistics Air. Baltia paid USD475,000 for the aircraft sans engines, and took the engines under a Power-by-the-Hour deal from Logistics Air.

 Given below is a detailed set of data about the two aircraft in Baltia’s fleet.

Aircraft # 1
Aircraft Model: Boeing 747-282B
CN: 21035/256
First flight: 27FEB1975
Date of acquisition: 15NOV2009
Current registration: N705BL
Previous registrations: CS-TJD (TAP, 1975), AP-AYW (PIA, 1976), N559EV (Evergreen, 2005)
Status: Unknown. Not seen in Baltia colours. Last seen in Malaysia, for maintenance.

N705BL, after acquisition by Baltia with engines hung. March, 2010. By okimlost_again.

Interior of N705BL. By okimlost_again.

Cockpit of N705BL. By okimlost_again.

Aircraft #2
Aircraft Model: Boeing 747-251B
First flight: 11MAY1979
Date of acquisition: DEC2010
Current registration: N706BL
Previous registrations: N623US (Northwest, 1979 and Kalitta, 2010)
Status: Painted into Baltia colours and the first aircraft in fleet to do so. Is presently undergoing maintenance and testing.

The following images of N706BL are courtesy of the airline. Click through to see in full size.

After painting. September, 2011.

A classic in new clothes.

The Baltia logo, painted on the tail-fin.

Economy class interior of N706BL.

N706BL-5.jpgUpgraded cockpit with older style gauges being replaced with monitors.

 The following video shows N706BL during its test flight following the paint job.

The Story So Far
  Although Baltia has been set up in 1989, it actually began preparations to receive an Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) only in 2008. It was on 8th February 2009 when Baltia formally began the FAA certification process. On 20th March, 2009, DoT awarded Baltia its initial frequencies for flights from JFK to St. Petersburg. On 4th June, 2010, Baltia applied from the DoT for JFK – Moscow Sheremetyevo service. In August of the same year, N705BL, went into Kuala Lumpur for maintenance with Malaysia Airlines. And on 10th September of 2011, N706BL finished receiving its fresh coat of paint and flew back to Oscoda, MI. As of now, Baltia is conducting FAA Air Carrier Certification process under Part 121.
 Baltia has already made arrangements with Evergreen for the line maintenance of its fleet at JFK and has appointed SOVEX as its fuel supplier. It has also signed agreements for office space at Pulkovo Airport in St. Petersburg and has already arranged the gate, check-in and customs clearance facilities.
 The airline will be able to take into the skies once it has received the necessary approvals, made some proving flights, completed an evacuation test and finally received its Air Carrier Certificate from the FAA.

 Will Baltia be able to finally take to the skies this time? Only the time will tell – but it surely would be an interesting airline take off to watch.

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2 Responses to All You Need to Know About Baltia Air Lines

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