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Topic: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: A388
Posted 2002-04-25 16:04:30 and read 12054 times.

Hi everybody,

I want to write an article about Eastern Airlines. I can't find websites that describe Eastern Airlines' entire history or facts of this airline. I only know they operated a fleet of Lockheed L-1011-1s, DC-10-30s (for a short while), A300B4, B757-200s, B727-200s, DC-9-32s and I can even remember seeing a DHC-6 Twin Otter in San Juan, P.R. I have flown Eastern Airlines in the '80's and for some reason admired the airline ever since. I guess it was the colorscheme which looked great on their L-1011s and DC-10-30 in Miami. I flew on the A300B4, B757-200 and the B727-200. They were the launch customer for the L-1011 which they called the "Whisperjet". They had hubs in Atlanta (?), Miami and San Juan and mainly operated to South America and the Caribbean, besides the eastern coast of the US with some destinations in the western coast of the US. Questions I have are: Was it Pan Am which took over all of Eastern Airlines' Miami operations? Why did Eastern Airlines operate the DC-10-30s? Where did the DC-10s operate to, was it only operated to South America (Brazil)? During which years were they profitable? How many aircraft did they operate (specifics per aircraft type)? I know they operated a large fleet of B727s. Which airlines took over their aircraft after their bankrupcy? Was it Pan Am? United also operated the L-1011 for a while, were these aircraft taken over from Eastern Airlines or PSA? Who were the CEO's at Eastern Airlines, any information on these CEO's is appreciated. Did these CEO's improve the profitability? Did Eastern Airlines go bankrupt because of bad management or the aviation crisis in the '80's or early '90's? Any information would be appreciated.

Regards,

A388

Topic: Eastern Airlines' MIA-LGW Route
Username: AFa340-300E
Posted 2002-04-25 16:16:13 and read 11794 times.

Hello,

I strongly advise you to have a look at my Air Transport Business website, under the Archives directory; there's a complete report about Eastern Airlines' Miami-London route in the 1980s.

[I'm working on an article about Eastern Airlines' Boeing 747.]

Feel free to contact me via e-mail



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Photo © Don Boyd



Best regards,
Alain Mengus

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines' MIA-LGW Route
Username: Stretch 8
Posted 2002-04-25 16:19:17 and read 11752 times.

Don't forget the pompous moniker that Eastern used:

"The Wings of Man"

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: AFa340-300E
Posted 2002-04-25 16:50:16 and read 11746 times.

Hello,

So let's reply to a few of your questions


Why did Eastern Airlines operate the DC-10-30s? Where did the DC-10s operate to, was it only operated to South America (Brazil)?


This is explained in my article; to make a long story short they had no airplane capable of flying non-stop MIA-EZE and the heavy TriStar versions were not sufficient while the 747-200Bs were too large.

The DC-10-30s operated on MIA-LGW, MIA-LAX and MIA-EZE and sometimes other Latin American routes.



They had hubs in Atlanta (?), Miami and San Juan


Their main hub was indeed at MIA, and they had hubs at ATL and MCI (effective 1978).


During which years were they profitable?


Eastern had profitable and less periods - and regularly switched. But the airline was profitable for much of the 1975-1980 period.



Who were the CEO's at Eastern Airlines, any information on these CEO's is appreciated


They've had three famous CEOS: Eddie Rickenbacker, fromer astronaut Frank Borman and of course Frank Lorenzo.



Did Eastern Airlines go bankrupt because of bad management or the aviation crisis in the '80's or early '90's?


Difficult question! I recommand that you read some Frank Lorenzo And The Destruction Of Eastern Airlines By Aaron Bernstein.

Best regards,
Alain Mengus
Air Transport Business

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: DCA-ROCguy
Posted 2002-04-25 17:19:09 and read 11718 times.

Take a look at Thomas Petzinger's "Hard Landing," which discusses Eastern extensively. There's a lot of discussion of the IAM strike and Charlie Bryan, and also about the Lorenzo years. Also a lot about Frank Borman.

The

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Tom in NO
Posted 2002-04-25 17:25:26 and read 11677 times.

A388: send me an email, and tonight I'll track down an "Airliners" magazine article that had a lot of good info on the history of Eastern.

As far as aircraft operated go, they operated DC-3's, Martin 404's, Convair 340's and 440's, DC-4's, DC-6's, Connies, DC-7's, Convair 640's, Lockheed Electra's, even a Lockheed JetStar for a couple of months, DC-9's, 727's, 720's, 757's, DC-8's, A300's, L-1011's, DC-10's and 747's. A complete fleet list can be found at http://www.geocities.com/~aeromoe/fleets/eastern.html .

Their primary domestic hub was ATL, along with their MIA international hub. MCI was operated as a hub in the mid 80's as I recall.

I also recommend Bernstein's book "Grounded" as a great EA history book.

Tom in NO (at MSY)

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Dvk
Posted 2002-04-25 17:30:11 and read 11680 times.

Are you sure they called the L1011 the whisper jet? The 727 was the original "Whisper Jet" in the 60's, I think mainly because of its speed.

Topic: Further Books
Username: AFa340-300E
Posted 2002-04-25 17:31:01 and read 11675 times.

Hello,

Further good books are:

o Eastern Airlines - An Illustrated History by George W. Cearley Jr.

o From The Captain To The Colonel - An Informal History Of Eastern Airlines by Robert J. Sterling

o Free Fall by Jack E. Robinson

o Rickenbacker, An Autobiography by Edward V. Rickenbacker.


Alas it is difficult to find books covering the 1980s at Eastern Airlines focusing on the operations rather than the internal/management conflicts (ie. the London route, the 757-200s, the DC-10-30s, etc.).



Best regards,
Alain Mengus
Air Transport Business

Topic: Whisperliner And Whisperjet
Username: AFa340-300E
Posted 2002-04-25 17:35:37 and read 11662 times.

Hello again,

Whisperliner was on the tail engine of the L-1011s while Whisperjet was on the side engines of the Boeing 727s.


Best regards,
Alain Mengus
Air Transport Business

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Type-Rated
Posted 2002-04-25 18:50:04 and read 11592 times.

Actually, the DC-9 and the 727 had the name "Whisperjet" on the rear engines. This was to advertise the fact that the jet equipment was so quiet, it was only a whisper. Back in the mid-late 60's EA had radio advertisements explaining this.
And the L-10's were Whisperliners due to their size.

Topic: RE: Whisperliner And Whisperjet
Username: CF-CPI
Posted 2002-04-25 18:51:50 and read 11610 times.

To address the DC-10-30s, yes indeed they seemed like an odd thing to get, but their uprated GE engines were identical to the ones on the A300s so maintenance was not as big a headache as one would think. The DC-10-30s also made it up to JFK from MIA, as a continuation of Latin American service.

BTW, in the 60s and 70s EA and DL were prime competitors out of ATL. There was an old joke, obviously originated at DL:

Q: What do Eastern's jets whisper?
A: "Fly Delta, fly Delta".

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Matt D
Posted 2002-04-25 18:53:36 and read 11586 times.

Did the DC-10's have any relation to Lorenzo's (unsuccessful) attempt at merging Eastern into Continental? I know that some planes (at least some A300's anyway) were transferred back and forth.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Exnonrev
Posted 2002-04-25 19:10:43 and read 11729 times.

EAL was founded in 1928 as Eastern Air Transport. They initially flew mail routes from the northeast to the Carolinas. Pax service began in the early '30s using Ford Tri-Motors and the Curtiss Robin and Condor.

In the mid '30s, World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker became Eastern's president, a position he would hold until 1960. Captain Eddie could best be described as a benevolent dictator. For many years any expense over $50.00 (raised to $100.00 in the '50s) had to be personally approved by Rickenbacker. Eastern's a/c were devoid of such luxuries as autopilots and even onboard coffeemakers. (It was made on the ground and brought aboard in Thermos bottles). He was hated by EAL's unions every bit as much as he was beloved by the members of those same unions.

The Captain's thrift paid off. EAL had a 30+ year record of profitability that today only WN could come close to. Eastern became the dominant carrier throughout the Northeast and much of the South. They provided safe, reliable transportation and little else.

EAL's fleet progressed from DC-3s and -4s to Constellations (EAL was Lockheed's #2 customer behind TWA), DC-6s, DC-7Bs, Martin 404s for the short-haul routes and finally the Electra (EAL had the biggest L-188 fleet)

By the early '60s, "The Great Silver Fleet" was beginning to tarnish. EAL was more than a year behind their arch rival National with jet service on the LGA-MIA cash cow route. Within days of EAL starting Electra service on LGA-MIA, National fought back with two 707s leased from Pan Am while their DC-8s were being built. EAL had already ordered the DC-8, but The Captain stubbornly held out for the more powerful -21 series which would not be available for over a year.

The Captain was forced out in 1960 and within five years, Eastern was a completely different airline. EAL was a launch customer for the 727 and was an early customer for the DC-9 and the DC-8-61 and -63. The BOS-LGA-DCA Air Shuttle was started in 1961 and was an immediate success. Passenger service was also transformed from no frills to lounges and gourmet food. EAL got a completely new look in late 1964 with what would later be known as the "hockey stick" scheme.

The Captain was gone, but his legacy was also a curse. Over the years, Rickenbacker managed to anger just about everyone in Washington with any influence over the airline industry. His hatred of FDR was well known, but he also had very few friends among his fellow Republicans. Every time EAL applied to the Civil Aeronautics Board for new route authority, they would get only a fraction of what they asked for. EAL's competitors usually got everything they wanted.

By the early '70s, Eastern was still profitable, but was falling further behind Delta and National both in market share and new routes. EAL ordered both the L-1011 and 747 in the late '60s, but canceled the 747 order after operating two leased PA 747s on JFK-SJU in late 1970. In 1972, L-1011 service began and Eastern also acquired Caribair.

EAL had gone through a period of revolving door management during the late '60s and early '70s. Finally, Eastern settled on former astronaut Frank Borman to run the company. The Borman era is probably best remembered for the TV commercials in which he appeared. It is also considered the beginning of the end of Eastern.

Borman recieved flak in 1977 when EAL became the first Airbus customer in North America. Rather than wait for the 767 as a DC-8-60 replacement, EAL entered into a then controversial agreement to operate five A300s only having to pay for fuel and maintenance.

The folks in Seattle and Long Beach weren't too happy, but the A300 quickly became the most economical a/c in the fleet. EAL eventually purchased the A300s outright and ordered more. They also became a launch customer for the 757. (first in the US to order the RB211-535s)

Eastern entered the deregulation era finding it hard to adapt to the new environment. They were a bloated bureaucracy (as one exec put it, "We had a VP for every s---house") with a very senior and highly paid labor force. EAL's unions were used to getting what they wanted and were now being asked to make concessions. They were in fierce competition with Delta from their ATL hubs (EAL was the primary tenant when the current Midfield terminal opened in 1980) and was now facing competition on the Shuttle. All this made them a prime takeover target.

In 1985, Eastern was acquired by Frank Lorenzo's Texas Air Corporation. Eastern was gradually picked apart (primarily for its SystemOne CRS) and became the scene of bitter strikes. Through it all, EAL still managed to provide decent, somewhat reliable service as opposed to its sister airline CO, which was THE industry joke at that time.

All of EAL's labor groups had made concessions with the exception of the Machinists. The IAM at Eastern was led by Charlie Bryan, who was every bit as underhanded and ruthless as Frank Lorenzo. He was determined that either Lorenzo or Eastern would go down.

By late 1990, Lorenzo was in the process of being removed from control of TAC. Eastern had sold off many of its assets, including the Shuttle. EAL was trying to rise from the Lorenzo era as a business- oriented airline installing leather first-class seats and selling them at coach fares. The strategy was beginning to work as loads increased and EAL had its first profitable quarter in years.

On January 18, 1991, amid high fuel prices and fears brought on by the start of the Gulf War, Eastern filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations. The only people cheering were at the IAM hall in Miami.

The reason you don't see many websites honoring Eastern is most likely because a lot of Eastern folks are still bitter about what happened. My father-in-law worked for EAL from 1967 to the end. The financial hell he went through was typical of thousands of EAL employees (there were around 40,000 at the end) and is something he prefers to keep in the past. It's almost like a lot of combat veterans who are intensely proud of what they did, but don't like to talk about it. My father-in-law has several large boxes of EAL memorabilia in his attic. The only thing he keeps in the house is his 20-year "Hat in the Ring" service pin (the insignia of Captain Eddie's 94th Aero Squadron) which he proudly wears to church every Sunday.

1928-1991 RIP

Topic: RE: AFa340-300E
Username: ORD
Posted 2002-04-25 19:21:12 and read 11568 times.

Just to correct some of your info:

1. ATL was far and away the main hub. They had about 350 departures per day there. MIA at its peak only had about 80 departures per day (although the headquarters were located there).

2. MCI (Kansas City) did not become a hub until the 80s (not in 1978).

3. Eastern also had a hub in Houston, although on a smaller scale.

Another note: Whisperliner was used with widebody jets (L-1011, A300), while Whisperjet was used with narrowbody jets.

Two other interesting points about Eastern:

1. They were as close as could be to being awarded South Pacific flights in the 1960s/1970s and ordered a bunch of DC-8s to serve the routes. But those route awards were overturned before service began and given to other airlines.

2. Eastern had two 747s painted and ready to go in 1980. But they ultimately never took delivery.


Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Cedarjet
Posted 2002-04-25 19:35:35 and read 11535 times.

Very nice piece Exnonrev, very interesting and informative. Thanks a lot.

Topic: RE: AFa340-300E
Username: ORD
Posted 2002-04-25 19:47:55 and read 11525 times.

FYI: I checked out your website and like it a lot. However, I think some of your facts are reversed. National Airlines flew Miami-London Gatwick, while Pan Am flew Miami-Heathrow. Eastern was going after the right to fly to Gatwick back in 1980.

The only two airlines allowed to fly to Heathrow were Pan Am and TWA (and later their "succesors," United and American).

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Flyer62
Posted 2002-04-25 20:49:53 and read 11510 times.

Eastern Airlines went bankrupt,because of bad management and a long strike by the airlines mechanics.Also another airline helped to push them out of business! I believe. Eastern should be restarted with good management,and great service...

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: JonPaulGeoRngo
Posted 2002-04-25 21:14:56 and read 11487 times.

I think there is a copy of "Eastern Airlines - An Illustrated History" by George W. Cearley Jr. up for auction on ebay at the moment.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Srbmod
Posted 2002-04-25 21:28:31 and read 11511 times.

My grandfather is a retiree of EAL, and growing up he always told me a lot of stories about Eastern. He retired in 1983 after nearly 40 years with them, then a few years later he returned as a contract employee to help in Air Cargo (his biz for about 20 of his years there). Another reason one does not see a lot of EAL websites is that many of the workers are still in the biz. AirTran in a way is the successor to Eastern Airlines in ATL. Some of the staff at all levels were Eastern employees, and many of the start-ups in the mid-1990s were by ex-Eastern employees. ATL was also a major MX base for Eastern as well. The old hangar is now used by Delta (the City of Atlanta was not willing to give it to them for many years after EAL folded, but since the City's first choice to take over the hangar couldn't afford it at the time, Delta got it).

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-25 21:32:11 and read 11479 times.

A few other little details to an otherwise great overview of Eastern's history:

They began service in 1927 as Pitcairn Aviation, later changing to Eastern Air Transport. The Pitcairn Mailwing was their first aircraft.

While Captain Eddie was great at running the airline, he lacked vision that the other great leaders (C.R. Smith, Juan Trippe, Bob Six, et al) had. He stubbornly refused to upgrade to jet service, calling it "a fad." He insisted on all-male "stewards" for inflight service, finally relenting and hiring females much later. He also kept passengers boarding aircraft through airstairs at even the largest of EA's hubs, not wanting to spend money on jetways until he was convinced they were absolutely necessary.

Eastern did in fact have orders for the B-747, but cancelled them in favor of the smaller L-1011. In the years before the L-1011 came on, EA leased three B-747s from Pan Am. Only one ever wore full EA livery; the other kept the blue PA cheatline, with the Eastern titles on the fuselage and the EA oval falcon logo on the tail.

Once the L-1011 started arriving, EA stopped their lease agreement with PA. In fact, EA and TW would routinely lease L-10s back and forth to one another, depending on each airline's needs at the time.

Eastern began MIA-LGW service in 1985, using three DC-10-30 aircraft purchased from Alitalia. Unfortunately, the route never caught on and was eventually scrapped. The DC-10s joined the "El Inter-Americano" service to South America from MIA, occasionally being used for JFK-SJU runs and even service to LAX from ATL and MIA.

Eastern's freefall into oblivion rests solely with the unions, but Saddam Hussein's invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990 drove the price of jet fuel through the roof, ultimately being the final nail in the coffin. By that time, EA had "burned the furniture to heat the house," selling off their lucrative northeast Air Shuttle operation to Donald Trump for $350 million, the South American route system to American Airlines for $880 million, and their System One Direct Access (SODA) global distribution system to EDS (the sale price escapes me..sorry). The remaining assets were sold off at auction in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy liquidation of the company.

In 1994, EA's court-appointed Bankruptcy trustee Martin Shugrue attempted to revive the carrier, looking at acquiring new B-737-400 and B-757 aircraft, flying many of EA's old routes. The airline industry as a whole was awash in red ink at the time, and the "new" EA never got off the ground.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Hartsfieldboy
Posted 2002-04-25 21:32:22 and read 11469 times.

Their main hub was indeed at MIA, and they had hubs at ATL and MCI (effective 1978).

I thought ATL was their biggest hub, or was that only for a short time?

Unfortunately, I never got to fly them. I wish I did. But I LOVE their last livery. Very simple, but very attractive.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-25 22:07:20 and read 11456 times.

ATL was by far their biggest hub operation. MIA was truly a hub as well, but not anywhere near as large. MCI operated as a hub, and there was even a small hub operated out of IAH.

While not considered true hubs, LGA/JFK/EWR offered numerous connections as well.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Seatback
Posted 2002-04-25 22:41:17 and read 11446 times.

Actually, a smaller version of EA did get off the ground in the early to mid-90's. One of their schedule covers stated, "the hats back" flight attendents wearing hats. They had quite an extensive route network on the East coast.

I think one of the facinations with Eastern, was that it was the first really big airline failure. Sure Braniff and others went before it, but they weren't near the size. Eastern before they shut down the first time was one of or the biggest carrier in the free world.

I remember walking around the EA terminal at IAH and seeing everything abandoned--very strange feeling. It was like people just left and didn't take anything with them.

Topic: MIA-LGW, Pacific Routes, 747
Username: AFa340-300E
Posted 2002-04-25 23:41:11 and read 11434 times.

Hello,


A lot of interesting comments here! Thanks for correcting me!


The London Route

Thanks ORD for checking my website! If you don't mind I would like to discuss the LHR vs. LGW case more in-depth via e-mail with you; I'm pretty sure EA was at least once after LHR rights (as explained in the article). I was told this by an EA person who was very closely involved in the London route's introduction.



The Pacific

EA was indeed awarded traffic rights to the Pacific in April 1968 under the Lyndon B. Johnson administration. But with LBJ's term ending on 20 January 1969, the Nixon administration re-warded the rights to American Airlines (Nixon wanted the routes to be served by an airline serving the Eastern Coast and the Midwest).



The Boeing 747s

There was only one 747-238B repainted with EA scheme in Australia (VH-EBD/N371EA). The information was confirmed by Airliners and the link given above.

I'm looking forward to talking with you, ORD, by e-mail! (mine is on my profile).



A Web Section About Eastern Airlines

People who're interested in building a small section about Eastern Airlines are welcome to contact me as well! At least the era when there was nothing available on the Web about EA will end!




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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Don Boyd





Best regards,
Alain Mengus
Air Transport Business

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-26 00:32:25 and read 11408 times.

Alain,

While there may have been one or more undelivered B-747s destined for Eastern that sported full livery, only three were OPERATED by Eastern, all of which were leased from Pan Am.

Two flew with this modified livery:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George W. Hamlin



And only one, registered N735PA, had full EA colors:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George W. Hamlin



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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © George W. Hamlin



I'd be more than willing to collaborate on a comprehensive Eastern Air Lines website. It's about time The Great Silver Fleet had a good online presence!

Please feel free to contact me by e-mail at AmishRebel@aol.com.  Smile

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Gr8SlvrFlt
Posted 2002-04-26 02:05:45 and read 11380 times.

By my recollection, the MIA-LGW "Silver Wings" service was profitable for Eastern but like so many assets was transferred to CO anyway. MIA-MAD was on the verge of starttng when PanAm 103 went down and the bottom fell out of the transatlantic market.

Don't forget that Charlotte was also a sizable hub. Eastern had all of B-Concourse there along with an Ionosphere club. In the midst of all the mid-eighties labor turmoil it was decided the aircraft used there would be better utilized at the Atlanta hub.

Eastern never got hardly any money from selling off SODA or the Shuttle, it all went to Texas Air and Frank Lorenzo.

The mid-nineties "New Eastern" was planning on DC-9-31s, DC-9-51s and 757s with hubs in Atlanta and Indianapolis. I believe the efforts went to reviving Pan Am instead.

More later.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: A388
Posted 2002-04-26 02:08:13 and read 11376 times.

WOW, thanks for the information everybody. I didn't expect to receive so much replies. All of you have given me fantastic information. I really liked Eastern Airlines, as I have flown with them in 1984. I really regret I never got the chance to fly on their L-1011s. I bought a 1:400 scale model of the Lockheed L-1011-385-1 of Eastern Airlines from Dragon Wings, really nice model with all the details on the aircraft.

I write articles for a aviation association, is it okay to use the information you gave me? I was planning to write an article about Eastern Airlines for myself, but after mentioning it at the editor's meeting today, they were very interested in such an article. The magazine I write for is called Aerlines and is established by students interested in the aviation in the Netherlands. Only students and our corporate members receive this magazine. We have approximately 250 members, so it's not a famous magazine as it is not sold in stores. Our budget doesn't allow that (yet).

Please feel free to visit our website at:

http://www.aerius.nl

And last but not least, please have a look at my personal aviation website at:

http://rogeraviation.freeservers.com

Anyway, thanks for all the information and please let me know whether I can use your information or not. If my article is alright, I may post it here on airliners.net.

By the way, your ideas of building a website about Eastern Airlines sounds really great as well, even though I do not as much about Eastern Airlines as you out there. I only looked out of the window to see if I could see some nice Eastern Airlines Tristars everytime I arrived at Miami. I will contact the ones who have given their e-mails. Thanks, you have given me very valuable information  Big grin

Your information is very much appreciated, keep the information coming  Smile

Regards,

A388

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-26 02:52:23 and read 11364 times.

Gr8SlvrFlt -

Thanks for refreshing my memory about the "New Eastern" service out of ATL and IND. If memory serves, the planned livery would have been awful compared to EA's beautiful "hockey stick" colors. There was actually an artist's rendition of a B-757 in the new livery as well.

The plan was to have a plain white aircraft, and use the Falcon logo on the tail just like the B-747 shown a few posts above, with "EASTERN" titles running along the entire length of the fuselage, akin to Pan Am's "billboard" livery or the new Frontier paint scheme. The word "NEW" was in red, above the L1 door on the B-757 shown. Personally, I'm glad that paintjob never saw the light of day!

In addition, there WAS talk of B-737s at some point, as an article in an old copy of "Airliners" magazine (I'll see if I can dig it up and maybe scan the photo to post here) illustrated. There was a photo of Martin Shugrue sitting at his desk at Building 16 in MIA, with a model of an EA B-737-400 on his desk (hockey stick scheme), with the "737" titles on the tail just like Boeing had done for Eastern when they launched the B-757 program.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Gr8SlvrFlt
Posted 2002-04-26 03:03:18 and read 11363 times.

EA_CO_AS,

Before Texas Air lost control of Eastern they stated that some of the 737-300s ordered by them (about 30 or 40) would go to Eastern. I think that is when the model you refer to was made. I personally liked the proposed "New Eastern" livery. It was quite similar to the early sixties "Golden Falcon" scheme. It's such a shame that no one has revived Eastern, if in name only.

Regards,

Gr8SlvrFlt

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-26 03:24:41 and read 11363 times.

It could have been a -300, true. I read that article about 10 years ago, so my memory might not be the steel trap I think it is.  Big grin

So you really liked it? Call me a sucker, but the hockey stick livery is still my all-time favorite. If I had my way, I'd buy AirTran, rename it Eastern, and start having an aircraft stripping and painting party!

Now THAT would be a blast.  Big grin

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Gr8SlvrFlt
Posted 2002-04-26 04:16:07 and read 11321 times.

717s in hockey-stick.....Oh yea!! Bare metal or dove gray? I always liked the gray myself. We could have Ionoshpere Business Class and Caribbean Economy. The 717s would actually deserve to be called WhisperJets.  Smokin cool

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Prinair
Posted 2002-04-26 06:49:36 and read 11284 times.

It seems most of the questions have been answered.

If you have any specific questions please e-mail me.

I was a flight attendant and reservations agent at EA.

I also worked for System One (SODA) and vividly remember the final days.

I still keep many timetables and my flight attendant manuals.

Good luck with your project.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: AWspicious
Posted 2002-04-26 06:57:02 and read 11286 times.

Hmm... A party! Well, we'll need some paint strippers... er, i mean... Oh, nevermind.

Thanks to A388, Exnonrev, and all who posted all this very interesting information about this once mighty airline. I found the various bits of information you all provided to be quite good reading material.

I also bought one of those Dragon 1:400 scale die cast models of the Eastern Airlines L1011 (polished), along with a Gemini 1:400 Eastern Airlines 727-200 (chrome). Two very attractive models, I must say. I do have one concern, though: I was able to find a photo (one, only)of the 727 after doing a search of it's registration. However, I was unable to find a pic of an L10 with the same matching reg. as the Dragon's model. So, I ask - Does anyone know if Eastern Airlines did infact have an L1011... ship #305?
Thanks!

aw

ps. Sorry for the lengthy post which seemed to be a little off topic.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Soupthansa
Posted 2002-04-26 07:02:05 and read 11273 times.

I read in the book "Jetliners" that Eastern was awarded routes to Hawaii in 1969 but President Johnson switched the route authority to Braniff. Eastern purchased the DC-8-63s for the new route to Hawaii but sold them when the route did not materialize.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-26 09:26:26 and read 11257 times.

Ok, we need BARE METAL, no white or gray...and the thick stripes, not the thin ones below the windows.

B-717s in the Hockey Stick livery would be AWESOME!!! If anyone can get creative with Photoshop and re-do one of the TWA, LLC/AA 717's in EA's livery, PLEASE POST IT HERE!!!  Big grin

And damn it, let's get some Ionosphere Clubs re-opened! Especially that old two-story one that Eastern had in Concourse C in ATL!

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: JETPILOT
Posted 2002-04-26 12:39:19 and read 11229 times.

The Eastern L1011 was the "Whisperliner" and the 727 was the "Whisperjet"

JET

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Cedarjet
Posted 2002-04-26 13:14:58 and read 11223 times.

Unless I've missed something above, may I be the first to point out that Eastern did serve Heathrow with 747s. Hee hee, kind of. They actually had a code share thing with Pan Am, the Pan Am 747s that were leased by Eastern would fly up the Eastern Seaboard in the afternoon then Pan Am would fly them across the Atlantic overnight. The trans-Atlantic sector had a PA flight number (and probably an EA number as well) but the aircraft had Eastern titles (as pictured above). I doubt anyone in the UK in the early 70s who didn't travel domestically in the US had ever heard of Eastern so it must have caused much excitement to see 747s at Heathrow operated by the mysterious "Eastern". This in an era when the 747 was still a novelty.

And I'm sure Eastern were the biggest airline in the world by RPMs (Revenue Pax Miles) for a while in the mid 70s. Hence, presumably, "The Wings Of Man".

Topic: RE: Cedarjet
Username: ORD
Posted 2002-04-26 15:41:49 and read 11196 times.

Delta 747s also served Heathrow with a similar arrangement with Pan Am.

However, once Bermuda II was signed in the mid-70s, no carrier other than TWA and Pan Am was allowed to serve Heathrow with their own authority. All the new entrants into London (Delta, Braniff, Western, Northwest, etc.) had to use Gatwick.

Also, Eastern for many years was the largest airline in terms of passengers carried. But they were always #2 behind United in terms of RPMs.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Jpz1991
Posted 2002-04-26 16:35:44 and read 11176 times.

Does anyone know if there are any Eastern a/c left anywere (in storage)? I'd like to see photos, I realize it's been 11 years, but was just wondering?

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: CrewChief32
Posted 2002-04-26 16:38:08 and read 11181 times.

AWspicious,

N305EA did really exist, it is (was??) c/n 193A-1006 and went from Eastern to Air America in January 1991, still as N305EA but didn`t stay there for long. It went to Delta as N782DL in December 1991 and has been retired in November 1996 and was last reported as being stored at Mohave-Kern County Airport in California.

CC32

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Gr8SlvrFlt
Posted 2002-04-26 16:41:12 and read 11169 times.

About a year ago I saw a 757 in full Eastern colors, minus titles, at Atlanta. It was operated by the FAA for instrument calibration. What a sight for sore eyes!

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Jpz1991
Posted 2002-04-26 16:48:47 and read 11164 times.

I find it very suprising that none of the new startups,used the name. I seem to recall when Shugrue was starting up Pan Am II, he was considering using Eastern instead. Appartently there was market research conducted on name recognition etc. & although Eastern did not do as well as Pan Am, the name recongnition was there & most people surveyed who had flown with them in the past had extremely positive remarks.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Tom in NO
Posted 2002-04-26 17:11:47 and read 11159 times.

Regarding aircraft currently in storage, take a peek at http://www.cactuswings.com, and click on "aircraft storage", then pick the storage site of your choice to see what is currently there. I checked Mojave and Marana and did not see any EA's currently there. Note: when looking at the list, an "X" means that the plane has been recently noted as being there.

I made a side trip to Mojave maybe 8 years ago, and did note, and have pictures of, an EA DC-9 (I think it was either 411EA or 414EA).

Tom in NO (at MSY)

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-26 17:16:40 and read 11145 times.

Ok, so who else wants to revive Eastern? Got anyone with deep pockets and a lot of time on their hands?  Big grin

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Seatback
Posted 2002-04-26 17:39:09 and read 11135 times.

I always thought that Valujet should have revived the name. Better than AirTran.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Exnonrev
Posted 2002-04-26 20:26:37 and read 11121 times.

The problem with using the Eastern name for a startup is that it and the falcon logo are owned by the Estate of Eastern Air Lines Inc. My father-in-law still gets occasional letters from them regarding pension matters.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: NDSchu777
Posted 2002-04-26 22:19:16 and read 11097 times.

Hey A388,

A bunch of different airlines picked up the broken pieces of the shattered Eastern Airlines during its demise in the late 80s, early 90s.

As far as routes go, American took over Eastern's South American routes and Miami hub, which it still operates today. Delta absorbed a huge share of Eastern's market.

With Eastern abandoning its Atlanta hub, Delta (which already had a large hub there), moved into many of the markets Eastern had left, and w/o the competition of Eastern, was able to build it's ATL operations into what is now the world's largest single airline hub.

Delta also filled in many other east coast markets, especially in Florida. Delta took over Eastern's operation out of Orlando and took Eastern's former status as the "Official Airline of Disney World".

USAir had also taken over many of Eastern's northeastern and midwestern routes. Originally Eastern sold it's Washington-New York-Boston shuttle to Trump, but this was then absorbed by USAir. USAirways still operates this very lucrative shuttle, and up until recently, the 727's on these routes were still under Eastern registration (until USAirways retired them and replaced them with A320s). I believe that USAir took over Eastern's Kansas City hub, but abandoned it due to unprofitability in the mid-90s. However the USAirways express partner Air Midwest out of Kansas City, was originally an Eastern Express carrier.

Pan Am did not take over any of Eastern's routes because at the same time Eastern was in financial trouble, so was Pan Am. I believe both of the airlines ceased to exist in 1991.

As far as aircraft go...they were pretty well spread around the airline industry. I'm not sure where they all went off hand...but I do know a few. A bunch of L-1011's went over to Delta. Some 757s went to America West and USAir. Northwest still operates a bunch of ex-Eastern DC-9s. That's about all I know for sure.

Hope this helps!

--Nick

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: L1011
Posted 2002-04-27 00:21:36 and read 11064 times.

I would love to see Eastern revived. It was my favorite airline until Frank Lorenzo ruined it. The DC-7B and Electra were my favorite Eastern aircraft, although the L-1049 Super Constellation probably would be if I'd ever flown on one. I remember in the late sixties, they had two fare levels. F/Y was jet first class and coach. A/T was prop first class and coach. The Convair 440s were all "A" class, and I remember a passenger across the aisle from me asking for his free drink and was told they were not available on this flight. I often wondered why it was called first class when the only perk seemed to be 2 by 2 seating and lots of legroom. But Lufthansa and Swissair had the same configuration on their Convairs and called it economy class.
I agree that the AirTran fleet would look great in Eastern colors. Too bad they missed an opportunity.

Bob Bradley
Richmond, VA

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: AFa340-300E
Posted 2002-04-27 00:21:59 and read 11045 times.

Hello,


I have the Eastern Airlines section ready;
Air Transport Business


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Kjell nilsson



Best regards,
Alain Mengus

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Ex NWA
Posted 2002-04-27 01:44:51 and read 11040 times.

Wow, what a response to this!
I didn't have time to read all of the posts, but Eastern had a mini-hub at Charlotte,NC from the late seventies through around 1985. They used DC-9's, 727's and an occasional 757 or L-1011 for flights to cities up and down the east coast. At its peak there were around 40 flights a day with as many as 7 or 8 aircraft at concourse B at one time. I have a postcard with an ariel view of CLT and there is are at least 4 EA jets there, but the edge cuts of some of the photo so there may be more. I also have a photograph I took from the top of the tower at Carowinds amusement park (about 10 miles south of CLT) of a white EA L-1011 approaching the airport. This was around 1982 or 1983. Lastly I have several EA timetables from the early 80's which are very interesting to look back at for some good memories....

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-27 09:04:26 and read 10994 times.

A few points...

Eastern actually abandoned the "Official Airline of Walt Disney World" title in 1988. This was when they were suffering huge losses and facing an impending strike by the unions in the coming year, and the $1 million yearly fee to keep the marketing agreement going wasn't justifiable, especially since EA already had a huge hold on the MCO market.

Eastern pulled down their MCI hub in the late 80s as well. It was never used by US Air in any fashion. In the early 90s, Braniff III began service and used MCI as a hub. They soon went under, as the entire industry was awash in red ink from 1990-1995.

The single biggest buyer at the EA liquidation auctions was Northwest Airlines. They successfully acquired the majority of Eastern's DC-9 fleet, along with most of EA's slots at DCA, as well as their BOS operations.

Most of America West's B-757 fleet is composed of old Republic Airlines planes, the majority of which never saw service with RC prior to being purchased by Northwest.
HP has three former EA B-757s, including the "Nevada" and "Phoenix Suns" themed aircraft.



So now how do we go about buying the Eastern name and the Falcon logo?  Big grin

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: Ryanair
Posted 2002-04-27 23:35:24 and read 10988 times.

A little known fact is Pan Am II was effectively "New" Eastern and very much emerged out of EA.

As was mentioned above Marty Shugrue when the Estates head tried to start an Eastern II in the early 1990's but nobody was interested.

Some years later the Eastern Estate was faced with a crisis when CO withdrew the former EA A300's. EA sold to other companies the tax credits it got from buying the A300's (to compensate them for buying such second rate UnAmerican planes!). The credits are only valid if the offending airframes are flown primarily in the US.

The problem for the Estate was should the A300's (now owned by a Dutch Bank) leave the US, the tax credits would expire and the credits current owners would loose the benefit. The Estate would have been liable to compensate dollar for dollar in that event.

So to stop this The Estate of Eastern Airlines decided to launch an airline to fly the A300's itself. It rehired Shugrue to head the venture and find capital. He found that via the businessman who'd bought the PA brand name (name escapes me) and as part of the deal in return for shares the PA name was contributed, thus they used that brand.

However, it remains that PAII was a venture established by the Estate of Eastern, Eastern remained a major shareholder, many of the staff were ex Eastern, the planes were ex. Eastern, it was based at Eastern HQ and procedtures and manuals were ex Eastern.

I interviewed Jeff Kriendler (their corporate communications guy) for a magazine when they started (first ever time I'd done anything like that, was only 17!) so the details kinda stuck in my mind. I think the fact it was my first time showed too!

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: MAH4546
Posted 2002-04-28 06:09:53 and read 10929 times.

EA CO AS, I am pretty sure Eastern's MIA-LGW route lasted until the end. It was then taken over by Continental which uses 747s on the route.

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: EA CO AS
Posted 2002-04-29 20:36:59 and read 10894 times.

MAH4546, actually Eastern only operated the route for a short time, dropping it due to anemic loads when compared with their bloated cost structure and costs. CO took over the route after EA was purchased by Texas Air Corporation. This was the first of many asset transfers from EA to the much lower-cost CO.

(reprinted from Alain's very detailed website)

"Services to LGW were initiated on 15 July 1985, operated thrice weekly, and when additional aircraft became available, the route upgraded to daily services. Eastern Airlines provided a similar premium service to El InterAmericano on the DC-10s, and called Golden Wings. The aircraft were configured with three classes, with a total of 286 seats. However, yield was not particularly high on the route, which was mainly a leisure market. For the first weeks, EA had offered a special fare at US$99 only in Economy class, which caused significant losses from the beginning. Virgin Atlantic's (VS) entry on the market in 1986 after Laker Airways' (GK) demise brought further competition and lower fares on the market."

"Eastern Airlines eventually dropped the route in October 1986 in favor of CO after the take-over by Frank Lorenzo. In 1987, the QF 747-200s that Eastern Airlines had initially intended to purchase had gone to Boeing Equipment Holding who sold them to PEOPLExpress (PE) and eventually ended up with CO... and were operated on the MIA-LGW route."



The DC-10 Fleet
Registration CO Reg. C/n Delivered Withdrawn
N390EA N12064 47862/88 05 January 1986 09 October 1986
N391EA N13067 17866/149 27 June 1985 21 October 1986
N392EA N41068 47867/178 29 November 1985 28 September 1990

Topic: RE: Eastern Airlines (for The Ones Who Remember)
Username: 727LOVER
Posted 2002-05-02 02:37:54 and read 10864 times.

Today May 1 is Eastern's birthday. They wouldhave been 74.


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