NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Baltia Air Lines, Inc. today announced that Anthony D. Koulouris, Baltia’s Chairman of the Board and President, issued a letter to company shareholders providing an update on recent corporate developments. The full text of the shareholder letter is provided below.
Dear Fellow Baltia Shareholder:
With my first full quarter as Chairman of the Board and President complete, I would like to provide you with an update on our progress and current status. As we transform our company with the ultimate priority of becoming a fully operational airline by the end of 2017, I can report that we believe the changes we have implemented thus far are positive for our company, and further that we will continue to work diligently toward our stated goal.
Since November 2016, we appointed Mr. George Kelsey of the Kelsey Law Group as General Counsel; Mr. John W. Lampl formerly of British Airways, as VP Corporate Communications; Captain Douglass Chouinard, previously of Swift Air, as Director of Operations; and Mr. James Calabrese, a 30-year aviation industry veteran as Director of Maintenance. In addition to these executives, Mr. Felix Malitsky, an accomplished and well-respected entrepreneur as well as President and Managing Partner of Fortis Lux Financial, joined our Board of Directors. These are talented and experienced professionals who have further augmented our team and will play a key role in the future direction of our company.
In January 2017, we retained Ellenoff Grossman & Schole LLP, a well-respected Manhattan-based law firm, to advise and represent us in several aspects of our business, ranging from securities compliance to financing. Since then, we launched a private, convertible preferred stock offering allowing us to raise capital in order to implement our restructuring efforts. We have also retained the services of a new accounting firm, separate audit preparation firm, and we intend to select an independent auditor to bring Baltia up-to-date and current with all regulatory filings. This process has been prolonged since the financial statements for 2015 and 2016 must be audited. The re-audit of the 2015 financial statements is necessary based on the removal and censuring of our prior auditors. I am confident that once the audit is finalized, Baltia will be on the path to more normalized operations and we can seek reinstatement of the trading of our common stock on the OTCQB Market.
With regard to FAA Air Carrier Certification, on March 29, 2017, our COO, Sheryle Milligan and I met with members from our new FAA Certification Team. Although we have been communicating with them routinely since the Regional Office assigned our project to the Indianapolis Flight Standards District Office (FSDO), this was our first time speaking with them in person as a team. We believe this meeting was advantageous for two reasons: first, it gave us the opportunity to introduce them to our updated vision for our company and our proposed airline operations, and second, the meeting allowed the agency the opportunity to update us on the numerous changes taking place within the FAA.
In particular, recently, the FAA issued new “draft” guidance for Air Carrier Certifications. To ensure our efforts at gaining FAA certification are accomplished using current data, the FSDO Manager obtained authorization to forward the draft to us for use in developing future revisions to our manuals. This will help reduce the possibility of having to recreate documents during this renewed certification project. We are hopeful that this action highlights the agency’s willingness to support our certification efforts moving forward.
Since our December 2016 announcement of our execution of a Letter of Intent to lease a Boeing 767-300ER aircraft, our relationship with Kalitta Air continues to be strong. We are currently collaborating to execute a lease agreement at the appropriate time so as to minimize unnecessary leasing costs and bring the aircraft online once maintenance is complete. In anticipation of flight operations, ten new registration numbers were reserved and purchased by us from the FAA, signaling our intention to augment our fleet to ten airplanes. This coincides with our vision for aggressive fleet and route expansion should we obtain FAA certification.
We have also been working diligently on re-branding our company and our updated service offering. This includes website development and creation of social media platforms, as well as additional marketing collateral for the business. We have forged new strategic relationships with senior management at The Port Authority of NY and NJ, political figures, and business partners here in New York as well as in cities we’ve targeted as potential pairing partners.
All of our company’s expenses and overhead have been assessed and a thorough overhaul of our financing and accounting functions has been instituted. I have implemented a strict code of fiscal discipline across the board, which includes re-negotiation of existing contracts with all vendors and business partners and elimination of unnecessary and or redundant services.
Finally, I look forward to sharing our detailed and comprehensive plan at our upcoming Special Shareholders Meeting to be held on or about Thursday, May 11, 2017 at Stewart International Airport Hangar G, located at 169 NY- 17K, Newburgh, NY 12550. Shareholders as of the record date for such meeting will receive additional details as well as proxy statement information in the coming weeks.
A lot has been accomplished and a lot remains to be completed; however what remains constant is that our team is dedicated, determined and disciplined to get the job done!
As always, thank you for your continued support.
Anthony D. Koulouris
Chairman of the Board & President
Baltia Air Lines, Inc.
About Baltia Air Lines
Baltia Air Lines, Inc. is a New York corporation headquartered in New York with a base of operations at Willow Run Airport outside of Detroit, Michigan. Baltia is currently seeking FAA certification with the goal is to becoming a leading U.S. airline in the transatlantic market between the major U.S. cities and capital cities of Europe. As part of its business plan, Baltia will provide high quality passenger service, and reliable cargo and mail transportation.
Cautionary Statement Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release may contain statements relating to future results or events, which are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Words such as "expects," "intends," "plans," "may," "could," "should," "anticipates," "likely," "believes" and words of similar import may identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not historical facts, but instead represent only our current management’s beliefs regarding future events, many of which, by their nature, are inherently uncertain and outside of our control. It is possible that our actual results and financial condition (including the results of our business development, regulatory certification and accounting and other operational initiatives as described herein) may differ, possibly materially, from the anticipated results and financial condition indicated in these forward-looking statements. Further, information concerning our company and its business, including factors that potentially could materially affect our company’s business, prospects and financial and other results, are contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, available at www.sec.gov. All forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date of this press release, and except as required by law we do not undertake any obligation to publicly update or correct any forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that subsequently occur or of which we hereafter become aware.
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