sampa737
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"New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:47 am

A little over 10 years ago, while living in Alabama, there was a report that someone was going to start up a new version of Eastern Airlines and possibly base this out of Birmingham, AL. Obviously this never came about but was wondering if anyone had heard about this or what happened. Just another "good" idea gone by the wayside?
 
gr8slvrflt
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"New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:00 am

The New Eastern, as I remember, was planning hubs at Atlanta and Indianapolis with DC-9-31s, DC-9-51s and 757s. The people involved eventually started up Pan Am II instead. The proposed paintscheme was loosely based on the early-60s: white fuselage with large titles in red and blue with a falcon on the tail.
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 4:14 am

This was about the time that BHM was considering moving the airport to a large site south of town that would have room for parallel runways. In reality, no sane person would locate a hub at BHM due to this fact - you'd also need to build gates and other facilities but this would be little trouble.

In reality, the people here didn't want to spend the money or drive 35 miles to get to the airport. btw, the main road to Wilsonville(proposed site) is US Hwy 280 which is some terrible traffic already - something like GA 400 but not quite that bad.

The main thing the airport is trying to do now is become more accomodating to cargo by addding facilities and extending both runways. In a little over a year, the main runway will be at 12000 ft. The main target for this is parts for auto manufacturing as we now have 3 final assembly sites(5 plants), 2 or 3 engine plants, and literally hundreds of smaller parts manufacturers going strong not much more than a decade after Mercedes first came here to build the M class.

I do miss Eastern though, they were definitely my favorite when they were around. They always seemed to appreciate the business much more than DL.
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ClearedDirect
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 6:33 am

I heard a similar story about the new Eastern.
On a side note, as a former resident of Birmingham, I remember something from the museum there near the airport about how the Birmingham Airport lost out to Atlanta over some kind of fuel tax or incentive to the airlines to "Base" out of BHM.
This was way back in the 30's or 40's but at a time when Birmingham was in a dramatic, rapid growth (Steel industry) and Atlanta was somewhat stagnant.
They say the rest is/was history, but with Birmingham's refusal and not really wanting to have the airline traffic - the move to ATL was on and will never look back.
 
FlyPeoria
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:47 am

I rememberthe "New Eastern" plan. I think it was from about 1994 or so.

Do any of you guys remember the mid-1980's effort to convince Piedmont Airlines to establish a hub at BHM? I don't think PI even served BHM at the time these discussions began. The story goes that the city directly managed the airport but PI desired to deal with an airport authority and not the city government. An airport authority was set up and PI ended up serving BHM, but not as a hub. I think BHM airport officials shifted their focus to WN after the airline began service there in 1987.

DPJ
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 7:55 am

Quoting Gr8SlvrFlt (Reply 1):
The New Eastern, as I remember, was planning hubs at Atlanta and Indianapolis with DC-9-31s, DC-9-51s and 757s.

This is what I recall as well. Many of the people involved went on to start Kiwi, along with many former Pan Am folks.
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September11
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:00 am

To add this, Martin Shugrue, Jr. had planned "new" Eastern flying A320s.

There were not enough capital funding secured for "new" Eastern to start up.
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:08 am

Quoting September11 (Reply 6):
To add this, Martin Shugrue, Jr. had planned "new" Eastern flying A320s.

Actually I believe it was 737-400s - there's an old interview with Marty Shugrue talking about Eastern from Airliners Magazine clearly showing a desk model of a B-737-400 in back of him.
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
wedgetail737
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:11 am

I think it would be cool to see PI break off from US Airways and start that airline up again. But I'm sure that won't happen...the same with PSA.
 
September11
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:25 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 7):
Actually I believe it was 737-400s

Yes, your right, 737s too. Paint scheme on "new" Eastern planes would be similar to jetBlue's.

The planned start-up airline would still be called Eastern Airlines, not "New Eastern Airlines".

There's Eastern Airways in Europe!
Airliners.net of the Future
 
ATLgaUSA
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:57 am

I saw the business plan. It had two phases. Phase 1 was a hub in BHM with flights to most of the NE cities, FL cities, MSY, DFW, and a few others. Phase 2 was to include a hub in IND with flights to most of the same cities and some midwestern cities. I believe the first pitch of the business plan had the hub in ATL instead of BHM. Something happened with the ATL part of the equation and BHM was substituted. Like an above poster stated, the company could not raise enough capital and never left the ground. Martin Shugrue, Jr. was the point person for this proposed incarnation of Eastern.
 
Kahala777
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:06 am

Quoting Gr8SlvrFlt (Reply 1):
The New Eastern, as I remember, was planning hubs at Atlanta and Indianapolis with DC-9-31s, DC-9-51s and 757s

We have it..... DC9's/757's sound a lot like an airine with a hub in Memphis called Northwest Airlines  bigthumbsup 

KAHALA777
 
WDBRR
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:17 pm

Yes, I did hear about restarting Eastern around early 1995, it was to be based in IND or PHL. ...... on another topic...... in 1994, heard AA offered the RDU hub they were downsizing first to Kiwi...they declined and Midway took the offer and moved their operations from MDW to RDU in 1995.
 
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zippyjet
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 1:30 pm

Quoting ATLgaUSA (Reply 10):
I saw the business plan. It had two phases. Phase 1 was a hub in BHM with flights to most of the NE cities, FL cities, MSY, DFW, and a few others.

Would this Eastern 2 have roared back into MIA? How about being a big player at MCO with hopes of being again the official airline of WDW?
Is it the post XMAS letdown and the oncoming overrated New Years Eve that is spawning all these rumor posts here on Civil aviation?

BTW, a paint scheme like the early 60's "Golden Falcons" would have been way cool. The hockey stick was timless but a little drab in my opinion. Let me link you all to EVA and you can see some of their members ideas of updated liverys for Eastern.
http://www.evair.com/



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WDBRR
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:56 pm

Beautiful pictures of the "new" Eastern
 
kkfla737
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:51 pm

I believe I read that Shugue after having the business plan rejected took the same investors and sold them on a new Pan Am, whose name was more marketable. Pan Am II which like the original focused on Miami and New York tried to mimic Pan Am I a bit too much with cross country flying and banking too heavily on the competetive New York-Florida sector.
 
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EA CO AS
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:19 am

I still say we take up a collection to buy controlling interest in AirTran and rename it Eastern Air Lines, bringing the hockeystick livery back to the skies!  bigthumbsup 
"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 1:26 am

Quoting Zippyjet (Reply 13):
Let me link you all to EVA and you can see some of their members ideas of updated liverys for Eastern.

Very nice, but I'm an EA purist - give me the classic hockeystick livery any day!

http://www.eastern-va.com/







"In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem - government IS the problem." - Ronald Reagan

Comments made here are my own and are not intended to represent the official position of Alaska Air Group
 
gr8slvrflt
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:19 am

EA CO AS:

I'm in! Do you take PayPal?

Gr8SlvrFlt
I work for Southwest, but the views expressed are my own and do not necessarily represent those of Southwest.
 
legion242
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:35 am

BHM seems a very strange place for a hub. Having traveled there twice this year, I don't see how it could ever have supported a "hometown" airline. Can anyone enlighten me as to why this would have been a good idea? I am not bashing BHM, I just saw it as a small-medium city.
Don't make me release the monkeys!!
 
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zippyjet
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:54 am

Quoting Legion242 (Reply 19):
BHM seems a very strange place for a hub. Having traveled there twice this year, I don't see how it could ever have supported a "hometown" airline. Can anyone enlighten me as to why this would have been a good idea? I am not bashing BHM, I just saw it as a small-medium city.

This is just Zippyjet conjecture but, BHM is within a 90 minute drive of Hotlanta. The area is growing as people move outward bound. And, chances are, landing rates etc. would be lower at BHM than ATL; therefore, lower pricing. Just my 2 cents worth. But to me, Eastern and MIA/ATL are like Walter Cronkite was to CBS.
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legion242
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:21 am

I see what you mean. You could live in a northern or western suburb of ATL and be relatively close to BHM. Makes sense.
Don't make me release the monkeys!!
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:40 am

Quoting Legion242 (Reply 19):
This is just Zippyjet conjecture but, BHM is within a 90 minute drive of Hotlanta. The area is growing as people move outward bound. And, chances are, landing rates etc. would be lower at BHM than ATL; therefore, lower pricing. Just my 2 cents worth. But to me, Eastern and MIA/ATL are like Walter Cronkite was to CBS.

All true, add in crappy service to MGM, HSV, and CHA and we end up with quite a bit of out of area O & D. It's faster to come here, and in most cases be able to go N/S or direct to major destinations vs. changing planes in ATL, MEM, ORD, etc. The parking deck is usually covered up with Georgia plates in fact.

Also, TCL no longer has any service and I don't think Anniston ever has.

The biggest thing working against a hub here will always be the lack of parallel runways. I-20/59 would have to be re-routed at great expense or a good size hill(along with UPS, Airborne, Coca Cola, National ComputerPrint, several Guard/Reserve bases, and a bunch of corporate hangers) would have to be moved/removed.

The only airport in the area that is physically set up well to be a hub would be HSV but the market there is way too small.
Where are all of my respected members going?
 
BHMNONREV
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:29 am

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 22):
Also, TCL no longer has any service and I don't think Anniston ever has.

Anniston has not seen service for several years, last being served by ASA with several EMB-120's per day to ATL. TCL service on Eagle to BNA ended in the mid-to-late 90's when EAS subsidies ran out..

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 22):
The biggest thing working against a hub here will always be the lack of parallel runways. I-20/59 would have to be re-routed at great expense or a good size hill(along with UPS, Airborne, Coca Cola, National ComputerPrint, several Guard/Reserve bases, and a bunch of corporate hangers) would have to be moved/removed.

There is actually a plan in place for a parallel runway to 6/24 and would sit to the east and go thru East Lake Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. You can see a model in the terminal in BHM, at the beginning of Concourse A. A very ambitious plan to say the least, but certainly there if needed...
 
skyyblue
Posts: 343
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:37 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 16):
I still say we take up a collection to buy controlling interest in AirTran and rename it Eastern Air Lines, bringing the hockeystick livery back to the skies!

This has been a FANTASY of mines since it's ValuJet days. Ahhhh we can dream, can't we?!
 
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zippyjet
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:40 am

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 24):
This has been a FANTASY of mines since it's ValuJet days. Ahhhh we can dream, can't we?!

Interesting, while you're at it raise some change and bring back the "Critter."
I'm Zippyjet & I approve of this message!
 
srbmod
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:42 am

Over the years, BHM has been pretty good to WN and vice versa. There are folks in the Atlanta area who still drive to BHM just to fly on WN, even with FL being hubbed @ ATL.

Perhaps one of the reasons for the proposal to base "new" Eastern @ BHM and not @ ATL was the connection between the "old" Eastern and ATL. Too many memories, good and bad for the "new" Eastern to even have a chance if they would have started up and been based out of ATL.

I had read that one of the other roadblocks was trying to get the Eastern name and other associated trademarks. The creditor that had been given those assets wanted top dollar for them.

While I forever associate the "hockey stick" livery and Eastern, some of those livery ideas off of the virtual Eastern are interesting, with the reworked "hockey stick" livery being my favorite.
 
WDBRR
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Fri Dec 30, 2005 7:44 am

Quoting EA CO AS (Reply 16):
I still say we take up a collection to buy controlling interest in AirTran and rename it Eastern Air Lines, bringing the hockeystick livery back to the skies!

Bring Eastern back to ATL and open a big "Ionosphere Club" in concourse C.
 
ChiGB1973
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:24 am

BHM is great. I lived there for 3 years. Easy to navigate. I spent many hours on Eastlake Dr watching.

WN does have a lot of traffic there. I would venture to say it is close to a focus city, if not considered one.

On Sept 11th, I saw a United 777 there. It was so huge parked on the taxiway beside 36/18. A friend recently saw an Antonov there. I liked the good ole days when DL had 757s in and out of there. I think WN took a lot of their marketshare.

On a sidenote, if you had the money, why invest in an airline these days? I know it would be fun and all, but buy a couple of corporate jets and you have your own fleet. For the cost of controlling stock in AirTran, a corporate would be cheap, your own schedule, easy security. Hmm, I agree it might be fun, for about 5 minutes, to control an airline. If you didn't have grey hairs before...

M
 
bhmbaglock
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RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Mon Jan 02, 2006 3:37 am

Quoting ChiGB1973 (Reply 28):
I spent many hours on Eastlake Dr watching.

This is a great spot. The new location for VJ's is in the old Guard Credit Union building on Eastlake across from the Torchmark hanger close to the mid point of the runway. The front tables have huge windows looking out on the airport and are great for checking out the action.

Quoting ChiGB1973 (Reply 28):
WN does have a lot of traffic there. I would venture to say it is close to a focus city, if not considered one.

There was a selection process that BHM came close on about 10 years ago but they decided to simply ramp up BNA instead.

Quoting ChiGB1973 (Reply 28):
A friend recently saw an Antonov there.

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b241/tdasher/P8040086.jpg

http://i20.photobucket.com/albums/b241/tdasher/P8040085.jpg

Not the best pictures but the best I could do making a quick stop on the way home. It was in and out 2 or 3 times in a week. Somebody told me that it was taking parts for a very large generator up to the oilfields in AK. This was during the first week of August.

Look at the truck backing up to the ramp in the second picture. That's not a normal trailer - it's one of those 4 or 5 axle overweight models that are also 15-20' longer than normal. This helps put some scale to the size of this beast. I've also seen them in GYE, DEN, and PHL in the past. Always exciting.

Quoting ChiGB1973 (Reply 28):
. I liked the good ole days when DL had 757s in and out of there. I think WN took a lot of their marketshare.

WN now have more traffic than DL and their regionals put together and the gap seems to continue to widen. CO has also expanded a bit. IMHO, Delta still hasn't figured out that passengers, even loyal ones, will eventually change when they feel like they are taken for granted. There was a time when you occasionally would even get a 767 from DFW. I don't think it was ever scheduled but it was always a nice surprise other than the stop in MS or LA.
Where are all of my respected members going?
 
ChiGB1973
Posts: 1394
Joined: Mon Mar 22, 2004 6:39 am

RE: "New" Eastern And Birmingham, AL

Mon Jan 02, 2006 6:22 am

Quoting BHMBAGLOCK (Reply 29):
The new location for VJ's is in the old Guard Credit Union building on Eastlake across from the Torchmark hanger close to the mid point of the runway.

Excellent. There was a little parking lot beside the ice cream place I used to sit. I never thought the old VJ's was a very good location, well, that is, I never got a good window seat, they were always taken. I saw Eli Gold in there one time. Heard him first. War Eagle though. I grandad graduated from Auburn in 1938, gotta stick with them. Interesting side note is that he paid more for a hotel room for one night for his 50 year reunion than he did for an entire semester/quarter one room digs back in the 30s.

M

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