EUROPE & CIS: New US carrier to fly NY to Russia

While carriers the world over are slashing their networks and grounding aircraft in a bid to keep their heads above the rising tide, a bold group of investors believe that the time is ripe to launch a new airline offering flights between NewYork and St. Petersburg, Russia. Baltia Air Lines has recently won approval from […]


While carriers the world over are slashing their networks and grounding aircraft in a bid to keep their heads above the rising tide, a bold group of investors believe that the time is ripe to launch a new airline offering flights between NewYork and St. Petersburg, Russia.

Baltia Air Lines has recently won approval from the US Transportation Department to provide nonstop service between New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport and St. Petersburg’s Pulkovo 2 Airport, with flights beginning this summer, the airline’s chief executive, Igor Dmitrowsky, told The Moscow Times.

The airline will initially start utilising a B747, with one flight per week, later expanding to three days per week and then five days per week, Dmitrowsky said.

The service will be the first direct connection between St. Petersburg and any city in North America, which Dmitrowsky sees as an unfilled niche that will give the airline an advantage, adding that the economic downturn will also make Baltia competitive.

“Frankly, these are the best of times for us. The fuel price has gone down dramatically, and the other costs are not so extreme,” Dmitrowsky said.

“Can you imagine if we were living in an era where Pan Am was flourishing along with other major airlines with no debt?” he said. “We would have such a hard time breaking into the market and an even harder time staying afloat.”