Plans are underway for Eastern Airlines to be brought back to life after nearly 25 years out of operating.
Eastern Air Lines Group has filed an application with the Department of Transportation to bring back the service. However, approval from them and the Federal Aviation Administration can take longer than 12 months to complete.
Ed Wegel, Group CEO, says the airline hopes to start flights by December this year with delivery of its first plane in August or September.
The airline will be based in Miami. Wegel said, “We’ve done extensive surveys and polling on the name… It has 80% recognition in Miami, and overall it has very positive name recognition still.”
The group bought the rights to the Eastern name and logo out of bankruptcy court in 2009 but had to wait until now to find investor support needed to restart the airline. Airlines have become more profitable recently and airline stocks, traditionally poor performers, have been doing very well recently.
The airline was founded in 1927, adopting the name in 1930. A popular airline due to the shuttle and extensive routes to Latin America. Once of the largest employers in Miami, the airline was sold in 1986 and and a drop in airline traffic due to the January 1991 Gulf War forced it out of business.
Facing some of the toughest competition the industry has ever seen with airlines such as American Airlines, Southwest and Delta, could Eastern fight it’s way back in? Airlines like JetBlue and Spirit Airlines are good examples of start ups who did it. Who knows what the year will bring for airlines in America and the possible return of Eastern Airlines.