The Kalitta Companies
Kalitta Charters, LLC is headquartered at Willow Run Airport (YIP) in Ypsilanti, Michigan with additional operations and maintenance bases in Morristown, Tennessee (MOR) and Hollister, California (CVH). We also have aircraft positioning at off base locations throughout the United States.
The company is owned by Douglas ‘Doug’ Kalitta and began service in December 2001 with (11) aircraft. Kalitta Charters now owns and operates (11) Learjet’s, (9) Falcons, and a King Air. Additionally, Doug owns Kalitta Charters II, a FAR 121 operation with (2) DC-9s and (7) Boeing 727-200 aircraft.
Kalitta Charters provides air charter services for cargo, passenger, and medical transport, either by contract or on-demand, to a highly diverse customer base. Kalitta also provides aircraft maintenance, repair, and parts through our maintenance companies (145 Repair Stations): Kalitta Turbines, DK Turbines, and Kalitta Accessories Shop.
A History of the Kalitta Family Business
Doug has been around the airline industry all of his life. The ‘Kalitta Family’ has been a leader in the air charter industry for almost five decades, starting with Doug’s uncle, Conrad ‘Connie’ Kalitta.
Connie Kalitta has a lifetime of experience in the airline industry that goes back to 1967, when he began transporting parts for the automotive business in a twin engine Cessna 310 that he piloted himself. Over the years, Kalitta expanded that one airplane operation into a substantial airline conglomerate, American International Airways, Inc. (AIA). AIA flew B747, L1011, DC8, B727, Twin Beech and LearJet aircraft in worldwide airfreight, air ambulance and passenger charter operations.
Connie’s civilian acquisition of Wurtsmith Air Force Base facilities was a milestone in military/civilian cooperation, saving hundreds of jobs in the Oscoda, Michigan area. The facility was used to overhaul the turbine engines and airframes of his growing fleet.
AIA supported the Desert Shield/Desert Storm operations with award-winning efforts. AIA was one of the world’s 25-largest airlines operating both scheduled and on-demand air charters, as well as third-party engine and airframe maintenance services.
In 1997, Connie merged and then sold AIA. He resigned from the company and its Board of Directors to pursue other interests, mainly to start another company – Kalitta Leasing. Kalitta Leasing is an aircraft brokerage company which buys, sells, and leases large aircraft.
AIA, the airline Connie originally built and sold, however, did not fare so well and was shut down. Dismayed, Connie fought to purchase the Air Carrier Certificate and resurrect the airline. In November 2000, Kalitta Air received its US Department of Transportation and Federal Aviation Administration authority to begin operations and immediately began service. As of today, the fleet consists of (24) B747 cargo aircraft.
In December 2001, Doug Kalitta purchased the original Kalitta Flying Service FAR135 certificate and quickly re-established Kalitta Charters in the air charter industry.
The experience acquired in nearly five decades of cargo operations, along with recurrent training requirements for flight operations personnel, ensures that Kalitta Charters and Kalitta Charters II are the most highly experienced scheduled and non-scheduled cargo air charter operators in the world.
With worldwide operating authority, Kalitta has flown to every continent and almost every nation on the planet. We have transported virtually every type of cargo imaginable: a weather station, live rockets, oil field equipment, explosive material, penguins, and even whales.
Since MedFlight operations began in 1985, Kalitta Charters has remained dedicated to providing the safest, most reliable and affordable flying experience for its customers. Kalitta Charters’ MedFlight division provides services to a diverse commercial customer base, including the U.S. Department of Defense, Air Ambulance Specialists, Shriners Hospital for Children, Akron Children’s Hospital, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, MedCorp, and Cleveland Metro Life Flight, to name a few.
Kalitta Charters’ MedFlight crews are trained and held to the highest standards recognized by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Transport Systems (CAMTS) and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). The MedFlight team undergoes monthly ongoing skills training and validation to ensure the highest levels of competency and patient safety.
With nearly 40 years’ experience flying our customers in comfort and safety, you can count on Kalitta and the luxury and convenience of customizing your itinerary. Whatever your destination, flying with Kalitta will ensure you arrive in style, relaxed, and composed. Every one of our impeccably maintained aircraft is owned and operated by Kalitta Charters.
Kalitta Charters passenger division is an approved carrier for the United States Government, including the Department of Defense.
Kalitta Turbines, a certified FAA Repair Station, has been in the business of maintaining, servicing and repairing TFE731, CJ610, and CF700 engines since 1986. We are a one-stop shop for all your GE and Honeywell engine maintenance requirements.
Since 1983, DK Turbines has been a leader in providing quality, cost-effective support for the corporate aviation fleet. With our extensive airframe and engine inventory, we have the critical parts needed to keep your aircraft flying. We provide worldwide support for Learjet, Falcon, King Air, and Citation aircraft.
Kalitta Accessories Shop operates a FAR Part 145 Repair Station, with Accessory Class 1, 2 and 3 ratings along with limited airframe service on Falcons and Learjets.
The Kalitta family of companies holds safety in the highest regard. In our Operations Manual, Doug Kalitta states, “Safety is the core value of Kalitta Charters because we deeply care about the health and safety of all our employees and customers”. It easy to see why Doug personally addresses his employees as the “Team”.
Customer safety and comfort are our top priorities!
With this family aviation background, it’s no surprise that at the age of 21 years old, Doug was one of the youngest persons ever to receive his Learjet rating.
But Doug isn’t just passionate about airspeed. He also has a passion for car racing, having been around the sport all his life. Again, the story began with Doug’s uncle, Connie Kalitta. Connie is known as a professional drag racer in the top-fuel class of the National Hot Rod Association (NHRA). He was inducted into the Motorsports Hall of Fame in June of 1992 for his tremendous contribution to the sport, having won five world championships and setting the world speed record on more than one occasion.
Although not currently driving, Connie is the team owner of two Nitro Funny Cars and two Top-Fuel Dragsters. To this day Connie is still actively involved with the tuning of these cars, one of which is driven by Doug Kalitta.
Doug Kalitta started out working as a member of Connie’s crew in 1982 and quickly got a taste for drag racing. He first started racing the USAC events on the oval track in Sprint cars and Midgets in 1990, winning the USAC sprint car championship in 1994. In 1998 he joined the NHRA, becoming a top-fuel drag racer. In 2011, Doug and his late cousin, Scott Kalitta (two-time NHRA Top Fuel World Champion), were both inducted into the Michigan Motor Sports Hall of Fame. See the full story here.
The airline industry and drag racing are just two of many interests the “Kalitta Family” shares.