Will Eastern Airlines be resurrected and fly again?

by Charlie Leocha on March 4, 2009

This doesn’t seem like an auspicious time to try and start, or re-start an airline, but a group of former Eastern Airlines employees and an investor group are exploring the rebirth of Eastern.

In a letter circulated to former Eastern Airlines employees, an investor group announced that they have “concluded a deal with the Eastern Airlines estate to acquire the name, trademarks and affiliate names (including Eastern Express and Eastern Shuttle) for the purpose of re-starting the airline as a scheduled airline.”

Ed Wegel, a veteran of the airline world and current CEO of Eastern Airlines, Inc., told former Eastern Airlines employees, “We have developed a business plan for the re-start of Eastern which leverages off of Eastern’s core strengths while using all of the lessons we have learned from all of the start up airlines and the restructuring of all of the legacy carriers over the past 18 years.”

According to this letter, the new airline management will break new ground with contracts with the new Eastern’s crew members and a stock ownership plan that will completely align everyone’s interest in the new company.

Wegel closed out his letter to former Eastern employees with a paean to the workers at Eastern.

One of Eastern’s greatest assets was its people, and we have formed an advisory group with volunteer representatives from marketing, sales, in-flight, facilities, maintenance, and ops. We want to retain the creativity, energy and vision that epitomized the Eastern that flew for over 70 years, and created the Shuttle, System One and countless other innovations.

Ed Wegel, certainly has the credentials and some of the investment-community connections that might make this resurrection a success: CEO, Eastern Airlines, Inc., April 2006 — Present; President, BWIA, 1994 — 1996); SVP, Atlantic Coast Airlines, 1991 — 1996; AVP, Shearson Lehman, 1987 — 1991; Manager, Pan American World Airways, 1985 — 1988; and Manager, Eastern Airlines 1985 — 1987.

The investment group plans to acquire 30 new Airbus aircraft and faces re-certification of Eastern with the FAA and DOT. Getting financing is certainly going to be tough in this current economic environment.

Print Friendly
Be Sociable, Share!

  • Hoot Gibson

    I’d go back in a minute. greatest outfit I ever worked for.

  • Joseph Sullivan

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all EAL employees and their families..

  • marie dalto fiume

    I would love to work for Eastern Air Lines again.That was and will always be in my heart.

  • http://FaceBook JIm Hart

    I hope to be one of the “advisors” helping to get the New Eastern off the ground having had a great deal of experience in the area of Marketing in the field as well as the home office.

  • Alexis Rojas

    I’ll be 62 in May, 2011 and I’m living back in my home town (san Jose, Costa Rica). Still, I’m ready and willing to work for Eastern flying or not, anywhere, anytime, doing anything; just let me know and I’ll be on my way. Sincerely,

  • Luis J Torrens

    I worked for Eastern for 13 year and was the best comp. that I worked in my life , Please let me know where to apply ,,I will love to see our planes in the air again,,,

  • http://www.consumertraveler.com/today/will-eastern-airlines-be-resurrected-and-fly-again/ Ron

    I missed Eastern Airlines.

  • db

    eastern had the `BEST` employees that Made the Airline…
    Not EAL Management! love to see EAL back in the Air!

  • Luis G. Torres

    As a former employee with Eastern, in San Juan,Puerto Rico my greatest hope will be to see this importat airline back in the operation. To the new management please consider the island once again. The nostalgic loyal customers will fly again and a new generation will be looking foward,. bring back the same colors and good luck, luis g. torres santiago departure agent  SJU 1979-1983.

  • Pingback: List of US startup airlines - Page 3 - Airline Pilot Central Forums

  • Obrau

    My father was also a former employee of Eastern, in San Juan,Puerto Rico. We would had love to see EASTERN come back. He work with EASTERN 27 years.

    Oswaldo Brau, “Tuto”, RIP, Lead Mechanic, 1962-1989

    “THE WINGS OF MAN”

  • ealsilverbird

    Captain Eddie Rickenbacker had a relationship with the oil companies. My hat’s in the ring with him. Ace of Aces. That’s what Eastern Airlines needed in 1989…an Ace of Ace, a man of many accomplishments who was the recipient of the prestigious Medal of Honor, The Distinguished Service Cross, the Legion of Honor and the Croix de Guerre. Who’s Frank Lorenzo and Charlie Bryan?….no body and it only takes vermits like these two to destroy a family and a legacy of over 65 years. 

  • Jonn Mulry

    Mazel Tov
    Eastern was my first airline when I lived in New York in the early seventies. flew Eastern when I moved to Chattanooga in 1971 to attend university.last flew eastern on a visit to New York in 1990. miss ya, love ya, hope to see you

    come back,let’s do the time warp again

  • Pittsburgh Slim

    As a skycap in Miami from 1978-1992 it was the best employment I ever had even to this day. I assest some of the heavy weights from Sammy Davis Junior, Tina Turner, Count Basie, Lenna Horne. The best service airline of all time. They say things come full circle.

  • Appraise

    I was a skycap in Miami from 1978 to 1983 and then transferred to Fort Lauderdale. I probably should know you.

  • WAB

    I grew up on Long Island and later I flew on the Eastern Airlines Shuttle between LaGuardia and Reagan. It was a complete pleasure to fly Eastern, even when they had Lockheed Electra aircraft. How can I contribute to get this airline back inservice?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ellie-Turko/100003080488598 Ellie Turko

    I was a Stewardess for Eastern in the early ’60ies, based in NYC, flying all over the USA. I also flew shuttle flights to DC and Eleanor Roosevelt was my passenger on one of them..Since my name was also Eleanor, we spoke and she signed her autograph for me. She died later that year. Many fond memories…!

Previous post:

Next post: