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Eastern Air Lines Files Application With DOT To Restart Up Airline

January, 28, 2014 - Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc., ("Eastern") has filed an application with the United States Department of Transportation for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

Eastern plans on commencing its Part 121 certification with the Federal Aviation Administration shortly and has retained legal counsel and consultants for this purpose.

"We are honored to have the opportunity to launch an airline bearing the iconic Eastern Air Lines name," said Eastern's President and CEO Edward Wegel. "We have recruited a world class board of directors and a highly experienced management team to guide and lead this effort." 


Eastern Air Lines was one of the "Big Four" airlines (along with United, Delta and American that dominated the passenger airline business in the United States for nearly 50 years. It started flying officially as Eastern from 1930 (after its predecessor company was founded in 1927) and operated until 1991, when it ceased operations during the first Gulf War. Before Eastern dissolution it was headquartered at Miami International Airport.

The Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 aggravated Eastern Air Lines position, forcing it into a low-fare environment in which its high costs put the airline at a disadvantage. Eastern began losing money as it faced competition from no-frills airlines, such as People Express, which offered lower fares. In an attempt to differentiate itself from its bargain competitors, Eastern began a marketing campaign stressing its quality of service and its rank of highly experienced pilots.

Unable to keep up, the airline was sold in 1986 to Texas Air, led by Frank Lorenzo. Lorenzo (who was named as one of Time Magazine's 10 "worst bosses of the century") was known as a ruthless corporate raider and union buster.

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. is not affiliated with the former Eastern Air Lines, which operated from 1928 to 1991 as one of the largest U.S. domestic air carriers. In the 2000s, the Eastern Air Lines Group purchased the intellectual property, including trademarks, of Eastern Air Lines.



The ownership group points out that it is unrelated to the previous Eastern Air Lines, and it plans to launch charter flights with the Airbus 319 out of Miami International in late 2014. Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. was formed to re-launch Eastern Air Lines as a passenger airline using the Airbus A320 aircraft from its main base of operations at Miami International Airport ("MIA"). Eastern's headquarters is located in Building 5A at MIA.

Update - July 31, 2014 - Eastern Air Lines announce the closing of its current equity round, with a major investment from Vincent Viola. Mr. Viola is an investor and entrepreneur whose business career has spanned over three decades. He previously rose to Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and is currently the Chairman of Virtu Financial, as well as  the co-founder and a significant shareholder in Independent Bank in Texas and the owner of the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League. 

“We are extremely honored to have Mr. Viola as our major shareholder and having the benefit of his broad business experience as a board member. He is a patriot as well as a highly accomplished business and civic leader, with a strong commitment to South Florida where Eastern is headquartered”, said Ed Wegel, Eastern’s President and CEO.

Mr. Viola commented, “I am delighted to be part of the re-launch of this great American company, and look forward to working closely with Eastern’s board and management in guiding the growth of this charter airline.”

Update - June 30, 2014 - Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. (“Eastern”) announced today it is now accepting pilot applications online. Eastern plans to begin operating Boeing 737- 800 aircraft from its Miami base, subject to US government regulatory approval.

“This is an exciting time in our industry and Eastern will be providing good flight crew jobs with great promotion potential as we grow with 737 Next Generation aircraft, and eventually the 737 MAX,” said Eastern’s Vice President of Flight Operations, Captain John Furneaux.

Eastern is hiring Line Pilots and Check Airmen. The airline will initially hire a cadre of ten Captains and then additional hires of 25 to 30 pilots. Favorable consideration will be given to pilots with Boeing 737 and 757/767 type ratings. The airline expects pilots will have an extraordinary opportunity to advance rapidly during Eastern’s growth phase.
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