Over the many decades of aviation, there have been some pretty ambitious airlines, some were considered revolutionary and some have become bankrupt. Today, we look at a different aspect of aviation, Baltia Airlines, now known as USGlobal Airways. This airline has a different way of running things, as its been in business for more than 31 years and hasn’t flown a single passenger flight. This could put it as aviation’s largest scam.
Baltia Airways was founded in 1989, when the craze for air travel was still there, but was dying down a bit. The founder, Igor Dmitrowsky had the questionable idea to connect New York City to the Soviet Union, a very high demand destination for the US at that time. Igor was a pilot, but he had no experience in the airline business. In the year 1991, the airline was granted permission from the US Department of Transportation to operate flights from New York to St. Petersburg (formerly known as Leningrad) and Riga. In addition to this, Baltia also aimed to operate short haul from Riga to Kiev, Minsk and Tbilisi. These flights never actually became a thing as the Soviet Union collapsed a few months later on December the 26th 1991.
Around 5 years later, Baltia claimed that it was back in business and had placed a down payment on a former Cathay Pacific Boeing 747-200. Unfortunately for Igor, this down payment costed all the airline’s financial resources therefore, the USA retracted permission to fly. One thing to look up to Baltia’s founder, is his ambition and perseverance as it kept trying to stay afloat. In 2007, the airline secured a new capital injection and re-gained permission from the US to fly again in 2008. In 2009, to the surprise of many, Baltia Airlines gained its first official aircraft, a Boeing 747-200 registered as N705BL, formerly flown for TAP Portugal and PIA. Two years later, the airline purchased another 747-200, formerly flying for Northwest Airlines and Kalitta Air
Both of these airframes have never actually carried any passengers. One of the 747s of Baltia was scrapped in 2012 at Subang Airport in Malaysia. Whilst the other appears to be stored in Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport in Michigan. When the airline’s founder, Igor Dmitrowsky passed away in 2016, the company’s board elected a new president. At one point in October 2016 the CEO of Kalitta Air was bought into to help the airline, but he resigned at the end of January in 2017.
The last that the public heard from Baltia was when they announced that they were changing their main hub to Stewart International Airport in New York and that they were also re-branding themselves to USGlobal Airways. Their webpages were up and running until 2017 but they have seemed to be deleted. Many people were roped into buying tickets, and investing in the airline some people had reported that they lost more than $10,000. As the airline never actually flew but still sold stocks and tickets, and gained money, it is known as a „fake airline“.
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- Travel Wires (Cover Photo)