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Baltia Air Lines Agrees To Buy Boeing 747

NEW YORK (AP) ¿ Start-up carrier Baltia Air Lines Inc. said Wednesday it agreed to buy its first Boeing 747 jetliner.

Baltia plans to fly between New York and St. Petersburg, Russia, then expand service to Moscow and cities in the former Soviet Union.

According to its Web site, ticket sales are not yet available, subject to regulatory approval.

Barry Clare, the airline's vice president of finance, said the company has begun the process of getting certified by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airline has submitted operating manuals and must hire and train pilots and crew, conduct an evacuation test and proving flights. Clare said Baltia hopes to get FAA certification by year end.

Clare said the airline will start with just the one plane and believes it can generate $100 million a year in revenue if it can fill that plane nearly two-thirds full on New York-St. Petersburg flights. The company also plans to fly cargo and mail.

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