Investors hope to get Eastern Air Lines flying again
A group of investors is seeking to get the long-closed Eastern Air Lines back to the air again within a year's time with applications filed with the US Department of Transportation, Reuters reported. The investors are hoping that the logo of Eastern Air Lines and its other trademarks will be able to give birth to a new carrier bearing the same name, the report said.
Eastern Air Lines Group Inc President and Chief Executive Officer Edward Wegel told Reuters that one of the last assets that remained in the estate of carrier which stopped flying in 1991 is the patent on the name and logo of Eastern Air Lines. Wegel said that the new carrier will serve as a charter "for other airlines that have scheduling issues or aircraft issues and need additional craft or for tour operators who want to increase their lift into the Caribbean into the United States." The base of operations will be the former headquarters of Eastern in a building in Miami International Airport before the airline was shuttered in 1991, the report said.
In the next few months, Eastern intends to undertake a common stock offering to raise as much as $14 million in funds to take care of the startup expenses, the filings with the Department of Transportation showed. To complete certification, the company will also take a delivery of a leased Airbus A320 sometime in August. It also aims to add two more aircrafts to its fleet in a year's time, the report said.
Together with American, Delta and United, the original Eastern comprised one of the "Big Four" carriers that ruled the US skies for over half a century. Debt and conflict between the management and labor unions started to drag down the company until it was eventually sold to Texas Air. It sought bankruptcy protection in 1989 and stopped operations in 1991, the report said.