Ah, Baltia Air Lines — the little airline that is trying. In 1989, the airline was founded with the hope of connecting New York to old soviet countries non-stop. It has been a long process and many felt the airline would never make it this far, but Baltia has been full of surprises.
It has almost been a year since I last took a look at the airline and they are making some pretty good progress. A big emotional step has to be seeing their second aircraft, a Boeing 747-200 (N706BL), in Baltia Air Lines livery for the first time.
Their first Boeing 747-200 (N705BL) was delivered to TAP Air, then bought by Pakistan International Airlines (PIA). It still has not been painted in the Baltia livery and is undergoing maintenance in Malaysia. Their second aircraft, another Boeing 747-200 (N706BL), was delivered to Northwest Airlines in 1979 and put into storage in 2009 before Kalitta took ownership. They held the title for only about a year before Baltia purchased it.
In September 2011, Baltia Air Lines was accepted into the FAA’s Safety Management Systems (SMS) Pilot Program, which will allow the airline to create a safety plan for the future.
“Senior Management at Baltia is committed to pursuing the safest operational environment possible. We are committed to implementing, developing and improving strategies, management systems and processes to ensure that all operational activities uphold the highest level of safety performance in the industry. Our Safety Management System will meet and exceed national and international standards.”
Yes, it is a big unorthodox to see a new airline start up using a Boeing 747-200, but who can complain about seeing one of these beauties flying in the US again? Will they make it? I am staying optimistic and hope they can at least get off the ground. Looking at their summary of tasks needed to be completed, they are on the home stretch.
SEE MANY MORE PHOTOS OF BALTIA’S BOEING 747 or check out the VIDEO OF N706BL TAKING OFF
I wish them the best of luck! Always good to see someone making use of something others have been casting off as if it were nothing.
Is that a chicken on the tail?
Rooster! I guess it means something positive. I have seen much worse liveries :).
Gracious, that old NW -200 must have a mile or two on it. NW just about flew the wings off of those babies. Do you happen to know the old NW reg?
I so thought I had that, but I guess I did not. N623US. A.net has some great shots:
Must have cost Baltia a pretty penny to restore the airplane after Kalitta trashed it.
But still had NWA interior. My guess is NWA had to do a D, maybe a C check pretty soon before retiring it.
Kalitta never used it – they just had it in storage until Baltia bought it 3 months after Kalitta bought it from NWA. For last few years with NWA until late 2009, it was used just for military charters. Was well maintained by NWA, then Baltia did a deep C-check on it (maybe a D-check).
Back when I was skinny and still had hair, 623 was a regular flying out of Seattle into Japan and then down to one of the other countries such as SIN, BKK or MNL. If memory serves, and it often does not, I think it originated somplace like Philadelphia, then on to Seattle (not sure if it stopped in MSP), then across the wide pond to Narita, Osaka or Seoul, then to BKK, MNL or SIN and then back again. Usually packed to the gills with baggage, especially if it was going to end up in MNL.