Why This Airline Hasn't Flown a Single Passenger in 20 Years
Having gone more than 27 years without flying a single passenger, U.S.-based Baltia Air Lines has recently rebranded itself as USGlobal Airways with the goal of providing a new airline that can finally take passengers to the skies.
Baltia Air Lines was started in 1989 by the late Igor Dmitrowsky to provide nonstop service from New York City's John F. Kennedy International Airport to Puklovo Airport in St. Petersburg, though that never came to fruition.
For close to 30 years, the company was unable to receive a certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration, with concerns revolved around the ability to provide safe emergency evacuations.
"Based on a December 16, 2015 meeting with Baltia and a review of the facts and circumstances around the demonstration phase of Baltia’s certification project, the FAA determined Baltia was not properly or adequately equipped to conduct safe operations that meet the FAA’s regulations," an FAA spokesperson told Travel + Leisure. "On November 16, the FAA issued a Notice of Proposed Denial regarding issuance of an air carrier certificate to Baltia for failing to satisfactorily comply with the FAA’s requirements for emergency evacuation demonstration."
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In over 20 years, the company has had two Boeing 747 jumbo jets, one of which was engine-less and another that never gained approval to fly, according to Michigan Radio, though the Department of Transportation did give Baltia authorization to fly to both Lenningrad and Riga in 1991 before later revoking its route authority in 1998.
The new USGlobal Airways submitted a new application for an FAA air carrier certificate this past February, and is waiting on approval to be able to sell flights, which would be between the U.S. and cities that are part of the U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement, like Paris, Nice, or Barcelona.
The company has been making various corporate and operational changes with the rebranding over the last year that include a new management team and changing its hub location to Stewart International Airport in Orange County, New York.
“Our new airline is well-advanced in the process of restructuring, reorganizing and refinancing,” Anthony Koulouris, USGlobal Airways’ CEO, told Insider Travel Report. “We hope to receive U.S. government regulatory approval and certification in the not too distant future in order to serve international routes to and from Stewart that are currently poorly served or underserved."