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MCDONNELL DOUGLAS TWIN JETS OPEN NEW BALTIC ROUTE

 RIGA, Latvia, July 20 /PRNewswire/ -- Baltic International Airlines will use recently acquired McDonnell Douglas DC-9 jetliners to open a new three-times-weekly nonstop service between Riga and London. It will be the first-ever direct air service between Latvia and the United Kingdom.
 The airline, a Latvian-United States joint venture, plans to inaugurate the new flights on Aug. 5, said BIA President Oleg Korshe. Two DC-9s leased through Whitestone Capital Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland, will provide the service.
 The 76-passenger aircraft carry 16 business class seats in a two-by- two arrangement and 60 economy class seats in the three-and-two rows that are the popular hallmark of McDonnell Douglas twin jets.
 "We have an exclusive business class section with first class leather seats and a 35-inch pitch between rows," Korshe said. Combined with Baltic's enhanced in-flight hospitality, the generous seating offers business class customers "absolute first class service for a business class fare," he added.
 The BIA flights will operate on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between Riga and London Gatwick Airport. The service is scheduled to provide convenient connections through Riga International Airport with a number of cities in Estonia, Lithuania and across Russia, and through London for trans-Atlantic travel.
 BIA Managing Director Homi Davier said the introduction of the DC-9s and opening of the London route mark a new phase in the airline's development. The carrier began operations on June 22, 1992, with service to Frankfurt, Germany, using Tupolev twin jets. The DC-9s also now are used on the daily-except-Sunday flights to Frankfurt.
 In addition to providing improved passenger comfort, adding the DC-9s to its fleet will increase BIA's cargo capacity, Davier said. Because of road congestion in areas served by the airline, air freight is especially useful when dependability of delivery dates is important, he noted.
 Riga is a long-standing commercial center, and with a population of nearly 1 million it is the largest city in the Baltic republics. Baltic International Airlines is a joint venture between the Latvian government and Baltic International USA Inc., a Houston, management group. It is the largest transportation joint venture in the Baltic states and the first-ever privatization in the Republic of Latvia.
 -0- 7/20/93
 /CONTACT: Don Hanson of Douglas Aircraft Co., 310-593-4710/


CO: McDonnell Douglas Corp.; Douglas Aircraft Co.; Baltic International
 Airlines ST: IN: AIR ARO SU:


JB-BP -- LA034 -- 3625 07/20/93 17:41 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 20, 1993
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