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Topic: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: timz
Posted 2011-07-20 14:06:40 and read 3363 times.

When might they have claimed that, I mean-- they never had the most RPKs/ASKs, but I thought they had the highest passenger count at some point. But just checking a few random years seems like they were always behind American, or behind United after 1961. Was it back in the 1930s or some such thing?

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: 727LOVER
Posted 2011-07-20 14:12:41 and read 3340 times.

1980-1984 They flew the most pax except Aeroflot

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: timz
Posted 2011-07-20 14:22:16 and read 3299 times.

They were behind UA in 1983 and 1984; I'll check 1980-82, but any reason to hope?

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: EASTERN747
Posted 2011-07-20 14:29:57 and read 3279 times.

In terms of being the "largest", we carried more passengers than anyone else. Aroflot had more aircraft, but remember their planes could be converted into military useage very quickly. (Not many airlines had glass noses that converted into bombers). Our numbers were big big because of the shuttle..DCA-EWR-LGA-BOS. In 68, it was $19.95 DCA-NYC. We were also very big with NYC-FLA market....the early theme was "from frost to flowers, in just 8 hours" and when Disney World opened we were the offical carrier. I was there that day and it was awsome......

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: timz
Posted 2011-07-20 14:33:58 and read 3264 times.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 3):
we carried more passengers than anyone else.

During which year?

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: GullAirACK
Posted 2011-07-20 14:42:04 and read 3243 times.

I think there was a claim that "Texas Air Corp" was the World's Largest Airline in the Free World around 1987-88 or so.
Putting our feelings aside from those days, I think it needed the clout of some of these carriers combines to take the title:

Eastern Airlines
Continental Airlines
PeoplExpress
New York Air
Frontier
PBA
Bar Harbor

I am not sure if Eastern held the title before the late 80"s, but by 87 they only shared it with their Texas Air partners.

Additionally, I am unsure of timelines, but these airlines may have been under the Texas Air umbrella during the late 80's. I am sure some were independent with only marketing agreements, but I am unsure of which was which.


Britt (was it owned by Texas Air or absorbed by late 80's?)
Muse (I think they were completely purchased and absorbed, I don't think the Muse name operated under Texas Air)
Gull Air (was privately owned New York Air /Continental Connection carrier, no Texas Air ownership)
Presidential Airways (I think they were gone by 87 and had no Texas Air ownership but were a New York Air feeder at some point).

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: timz
Posted 2011-07-20 15:48:35 and read 3100 times.

Sure nuff, EA did have the most passengers in 1981, 1982 and probably 1980 as well. Then in 1983 they not only slipped behind UA but DL just passed them too. (UA continued to be the uncontested RPK leader.)

So were those years EA's only years at the top?

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: EASTERN747
Posted 2011-07-20 16:30:46 and read 3001 times.

I'm talking late 60's early 70's........No Peoples, No New york air, etc....... The Rockerfellers had a big interest in Eastern as did the Kennedy's...I forget the reasons but Ted Kennedy pulled his interest and put it be behind Peoples Express ie de-regulation...he was out to make $$$$$$$$$$.....please don't get me started.....I had to deal with him at DCA all the time, and the rest of the KLAN.....not Camelot, I can tell you.... Mrs Kennedy, (Jackie) was very nice and professional-just a nice lady.......want to tell you about the time carried Strum Thurmonds baby to his car and he pissed all over me....he was 70+...wifey was alot younger......

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: ModernArt
Posted 2011-07-20 16:45:12 and read 2964 times.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 7):
forget the reasons but Ted Kennedy pulled his interest and put it be behind Peoples Express ie de-regulation...he was out to make $$$$$$$$$$.

I would imagine Teddy's monies were in a blind trust from the time he was elected a Congresscritter.

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: WesternA318
Posted 2011-07-21 10:39:53 and read 2506 times.

Quoting GullAirACK (Reply 5):
Muse (I think they were completely purchased and absorbed, I don't think the Muse name operated under Texas Air)

MuseAir was purchased by Southwest Airlines and renamed TransStar before being shut down

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: timz
Posted 2011-07-21 14:05:30 and read 2298 times.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 7):
late 60's early 70's

Turns out UA had more passengers than EA each year 1966-1975.

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: cf6ppe
Posted 2011-07-23 00:10:11 and read 2041 times.

hey timz,

What is your angle in your question.... ??

Did EAL do something to you good/bad/indifferent/whatever ..... ??

I detect that you are coming across a little angry...

Care to explain.... after all we are just friends here on A-net... aren't we.... ??   

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: The777Man
Posted 2011-07-23 00:29:17 and read 2005 times.

Quoting cf6ppe (Reply 11):
hey timz,

What is your angle in your question.... ??

Did EAL do something to you good/bad/indifferent/whatever ..... ??

I detect that you are coming across a little angry...

Care to explain.... after all we are just friends here on A-net... aren't we.... ??

It seems he's only seeking to look for facts.

Looks like EA only carried the most passengers for a few years rather than for a long time as I would have expected.

The777Man

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: BMI727
Posted 2011-07-23 00:56:28 and read 1981 times.

Quoting EASTERN747 (Reply 3):

Aeroflot was responsible for basically all civil aviation in the USSR from cropdusting on up, but their planes could not be converted to bombers. The glazed noses were a byproduct of a huge country with relatively few navigational aids.

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: type-rated
Posted 2011-07-23 11:08:04 and read 1743 times.

Museair was going pretty good as a nice niche airline with better than average service. Lamar Muse had plans for them, but turned the company over to his son Michael to manage. After that the company started going downhill. From what I was told, WN was going to operate them as a separate entity. Fly WN to save money, fly TranStar to get service. Obviously, it didn't work out.
The TranStar planes were painted purple. WN employees called them the "Flying Purple Profit Eaters".

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2011-07-23 12:53:38 and read 1638 times.

Quoting timz (Thread starter):
Was it back in the 1930s or some such thing?

No, early 80s.

Topic: RE: When Was Eastern " Free World's Largest Airline"?
Username: zippyjet
Posted 2011-07-23 22:14:36 and read 1419 times.

Before Nixon, before OPEC, before de-regulation, at least Madison Avenue had us believing Eastern carried the most passengers in the free world. During the swinging 60's they seemed to be unstoppable labor strikes and all. Amazing how time waits for no one.


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