Kalitta Air
IATA ICAO Callsign
  • 1967
    (as Connie Kalitta Services)
  • 2000
    (as Kalitta Air)
AOC #KCSA712A[1]
SubsidiariesKalitta Charters
Fleet size28
Destinations25 (scheduled)
HeadquartersYpsilanti Township, Michigan, U.S.
Key peopleConrad Kalitta

Kalitta Air is an American cargo airline headquartered at Willow Run Airport, Ypsilanti Township, Michigan.[2][3] The company operates international scheduled and cargo charter services.[4] Its call sign "Connie" is from its founder, Connie Kalitta.


The Kalitta Air headquarters in Ypsilanti Township, Michigan
A former Kalitta Air Douglas DC-9 at Willow Run Airport in 1989

In 1967, Conrad "Connie" Kalitta started the airline as Connie Kalitta Services,[5] a business carrying car parts using a twin engine Cessna 310 that he piloted. The airline's name would later become American International Airways in 1984. At this point, the fleet consisted of Boeing 747, Lockheed L-1011, Douglas DC-8, Twin Beech, and Learjet aircraft, for air freight, air ambulance, and charter passenger operations.

The American International Airways brand name was also used by a charter and scheduled passenger airline which in 1981 was operating a hub located at the Philadelphia International Airport with nonstop service to Atlantic City, Boston, Chicago Midway, Cleveland, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Norfolk, Orlando, Pittsburgh, Tampa, and West Palm Beach flown with McDonnell Douglas DC-9-30 and MD-80 jets. The airline declared bankruptcy on July 19, 1984, and ceased operations in September.[6][7] Kalitta, however, continued using the AIA name, as "Kalitta|American International Airways" for cargo-only flights until 1997.

During the late 1980s, the Kalitta brand name continued to appear on many of the company's cargo aircraft. In 1990 and 1991, AIA flew 600 missions in support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.

In 1997, AIA merged with Kitty Hawk Inc., and Conrad Kalitta resigned to start Kalitta Leasing for buying, selling, and leasing large aircraft. In April 2000, Kitty Hawk International (the former AIA) ceased operations. Kalitta decided to rescue it and the new airline, Kalitta Air, began operations in November 2000, using the operating certificate and assets of the former airline.

On April 21, 2017, Kalitta Air retired its final Boeing 747-200F from service. This was one of the relatively few then remaining in service. Twenty-six other Boeing 747 aircraft are still active in Kalitta's fleet.

Kalitta Maintenance operates a maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility at Oscoda–Wurtsmith Airport in Iosco County, Michigan.

In 2020, the United States Department of State employed Kalitta Air to evacuate U.S. nationals from Wuhan at the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Citing instructions from the State Department, company Pete Sanderlin declined to give the Detroit Free Press comment.[8] The National Museum of American Diplomacy's collection of artifacts includes a commemorative patch honoring the "Wuhan Evac Team" featuring a Kalitta Air plane. It has the dates "01-27-20 to 02-08-20" and four N-numbers, N705CK, N706CK, N708CK, and N713CK.[9]


The airline provides domestic and international scheduled or on-demand cargo service and support for the requirements of the Department of Defense Air Mobility Command.[10][11]

In January 2003, Kalitta Air announced the start of scheduled cargo flights from the United States to Europe. The freighters on this service operated from JFK (John F. Kennedy Airport, New York, USA) EWR (Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey, USA)[10] and ORD (O’Hare, Chicago, USA) to AMS (Schiphol, Amsterdam, the Netherlands) and EMA (East Midlands Airport, England). The airline flies scheduled cargo operations between the U.S. and Hong Kong, U.S. and Germany (Leipzig/Halle Airport), U.S. and Korea (for Asiana), Los Angeles and Honolulu. Liège Airport was also used as a regular refueling stop on New York City – Middle East routes and in the Caribbean, Norman Manley International Airport.[citation needed]

As of February 2020, Kalitta Air serves the following destinations with cargo flights on a regular, scheduled basis:[12][13]

Country City Airport Notes Refs
Bahrain Manama Bahrain International Airport
Belgium Brussels Brussels Airport
Ostend Ostend–Bruges International Airport
Canada Vancouver Vancouver International Airport
Chile Santiago Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport
China Hefei Hefei Xinqiao International Airport
Shanghai Shanghai Pudong International Airport
Germany Leipzig Leipzig/Halle Airport
Hong Kong Hong Kong Hong Kong International Airport
India Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport
Japan Nagoya Chubu Centrair International Airport
Netherlands Amsterdam Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Singapore Singapore Changi Airport
South Korea Seoul Incheon International Airport
Türkiye Istanbul Istanbul Airport
United States (Alaska) Anchorage Elmendorf Air Force Base
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport
United States (California) Fairfield Travis Air Force Base
Los Angeles Los Angeles International Airport
San Francisco San Francisco International Airport
United States (Florida) Miami Miami International Airport
Orlando Orlando International Airport
United States (Hawaii) Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
Kalaoa Ellison Onizuka Kona International Airport
United States (Illinois) Chicago O'Hare International Airport
United States (Michigan) Detroit Detroit Metropolitan Airport
Oscoda Oscoda-Wurtsmith Airport Major overhaul, repair, and maintenance facility, also where retired planes are scrapped and/or Cannibalized for spare parts. It is the former Wurtsmith Air Force Base
United States (New Jersey) Newark Newark Liberty International Airport
United States (New York) Newburgh Stewart International Airport
New York City John F. Kennedy International Airport
United States (North Carolina) Greensboro Piedmont Triad International Airport
United States (Kentucky) Hebron Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
United States (Oregon) Portland Portland International Airport
United States (Texas) Dallas Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
San Antonio San Antonio International Airport
United States (Virginia) Richmond Richmond International Airport
United States (Washington) Seattle Seattle/Tacoma International Airport


Kalitta Air Boeing 747-400BCF
Kalitta Air Boeing 777F operated for DHL Aviation

Current fleet

As of April 2024, the Kalitta Air fleet consists of the following aircraft:[14][15]

Kalitta Air fleet
Aircraft Total Orders Notes
Boeing 747-400F/ERF/BCF 23
Boeing 777F 5
Boeing 777-300ER/SF 5 Launch customer.[16][17]
Total 29 5

Historical fleet

Previously, Kalitta Air additionally operated the following aircraft types:[citation needed]

Incidents and accidents

Media appearances

See also


  1. ^ "Federal Aviation Administration – Airline Certificate Information – Detail View". av-info.faa.gov. Retrieved 2019-06-27.
  2. ^ "Township Map Archived 2005-11-09 at the Wayback Machine." Ypsilanti Township. Retrieved on June 22, 2009.
  3. ^ "Welcome to Kalitta Air." Kalitta Air. Retrieved on June 22, 2009.
  4. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 2007-04-03. p. 99.
  5. ^ "Connie Kalitta Services". Airline History. Retrieved 7 December 2020.
  6. ^ http://www.departedflights.com, May 1, 1984, American International Airways route map
  7. ^ "American International Airways". StanWing. Retrieved 29 April 2020.
  8. ^ Moran, Darcie. "Michigan-based airline Kalitta aids in Wuhan coronavirus evacuation". Detroit Free Press. Retrieved 2022-06-13.
  9. ^ "Our Favorite Artifact Acquisitions of 2020". 2020-12-21. Retrieved 2022-06-13.
  10. ^ a b "Aircraft Schedule". Kalitta Air. Archived from the original on 2007-10-11. Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  11. ^ "Contracts from the United States Department of Defense". Retrieved 2007-11-15.
  12. ^ Kalitta Air (K4/CKS) Fleet, Routes & Reviews | Flightradar24
  13. ^ Airport Codes Starting with : A - World Airport Codes
  14. ^ "Kalitta Air Fleet Details and History". www.planespotters.net. Retrieved 3 April 2024.
  15. ^ "Kalitta Air Fleet of B777 (Active) | Airfleets aviation". www.airfleets.net. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  16. ^ "Kalitta Air to be launch operator of 'The Big Twin'". The Load Star. 28 October 2020.
  17. ^ "US's Kalitta Air secures two more B777-300 freighters". Ch-Aviation. 30 June 2021.
  18. ^ "Korean Air HL7460 (Boeing 747 - MSN 26404) | Airfleets aviation". www.airfleets.net. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  19. ^ "Kalitta Air N579BC (Boeing 747 - MSN 27662) (Ex HL7494) | Airfleets aviation". www.airfleets.net. Retrieved 2020-04-15.
  20. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident McDonnell Douglas DC-8-61 N814CK Guantánamo NAS (NBW)".
  21. ^ Air Cargo Safety Archived 2008-05-28 at the Wayback Machine October 2004
  22. ^ Prestwick Airport arms flights prosecution ruled out, UK Airport News, 28 November 2006
  23. ^ "Aircraft Data N704CK, 1986 Boeing 747-246F C/N 23391, 1980 Boeing 747-209F C/N 22299, 1972 Boeing 747-146 C/N 20528".
  24. ^ "Aviation Photo Search".
  25. ^ "Plane comes off Brussels runway". BBC News. 25 May 2008. Retrieved 2010-01-05.
  26. ^ Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from the National Transportation Safety Board
  27. ^ "Airplane breaks in two". de Redactie.be. 25 May 2008. Archived from the original on 24 July 2012.
  28. ^ "Post-V1 abort after bird-strike destroyed Kalitta 747F". FlightGlobal.com. December 23, 2008.
  29. ^ "Final report on the accident occurred on 25 may 2008 at brussels airport on a boeing b747-209f registered n704ck" (PDF). Federal Public Service Mobility and Transport Air Accident Investigation Unit. 10 July 2009.
  30. ^ "FINAL REPORT ON THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED ON 25 MAY 2008 AT BRUSSELS AIRPORT ON A BOEING B747-209F REGISTERED N704CK Archived 5 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine." (Archive) FPS Transport Belgium. Retrieved on 17 July 2013.
  31. ^ "US cargo plane crashes into Colombian house, 3 dead". AFP. 2008-07-07. Archived from the original on 2008-07-10. Retrieved 2008-07-07.
  32. ^ "US plane crashes into Colombian house". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2008-07-08. Retrieved 2008-07-08.
  33. ^ "Crash: Kalitta B742 at Bogota on Jul 7th 2008, engine fire, impacted a farm house". The Aviation Herald. 2008-07-11. Retrieved 2013-06-03.
  34. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 747-209BSF N714CK Bogotá-Eldorado Airport (BOG)". Aviation Safety Network. 7 July 2008. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  35. ^ "Vrachtvliegtuig komt in problemen na opstijgen vanaf Brussels Airport: getuigen maken melding van ontploffingen en steekvlam". HLN.be. Retrieved 2022-08-16.
  36. ^ "Compressor engine stall on Kalitta Air Boeing 747 cargo that departed from Brussels Airport". Aviation24.be. 29 March 2019.
  37. ^ "Incident: Kalitta B744 at East Midlands on Sep 30th 2021, engine malfunction on roll out".
  38. ^ Singh, Sumit (2022-12-18). "Kalitta Air Boeing 747 Diverts To Saskatoon Following Cargo Hold Fire Indication". Simple Flying. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
  39. ^ Varley, Len (2022-08-07). "Kalitta Air 747 from Anchorage veers off Ningbo runway". Aviation Source News. Retrieved July 8, 2023.
  40. ^ Larson, George C. (September 1997). "The Making of Air Force One". Smithsonian Institution. Retrieved 29 November 2015.
  41. ^ "Plane carrying 228 Canadians from Grand Princess cruise ship lands at CFB Trenton - National | Globalnews.ca".
  42. ^ Photo of N707CK during production
  43. ^ "N801KH Kitty Hawk Collateral Liquidating Trust Boeing 747-200(F)". Planespotters.net. Retrieved April 8, 2024.

Media related to Kalitta Air at Wikimedia Commons