November 25: US start-up carrier Baltia Air Lines has just taken delivery of its first aircraft, a Boeing 747.
Although technically a start-up airline, according to financial records with the US Securities and Exchange Commission Baltia was actually formed in 1989. According to ‘Tom’ on the Airline Blog, financing issues and failure to get US Department of Transportation approval for flight operations led to the 20-year delay in acquiring the first aircraft.
In a press release, the airline’s Executive Vice President Russell Thal stated “The purchase of the aircraft, which was paid for in full, is a major event for us. To date, Baltia Air Lines has no debt, and we intend to expand our fleet using revenues generated once we start flight operations.” Barry Clare, Vice President of finance, said the company has begun the process of getting certified by the Federal Aviation Administration. He said the airline will start with just one plane and believes it can generate $100 million a year in revenue. Baltia will operate from Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport in New York and fly to St Petersburg in Russia, although no date has been announced for the first scheduled service.