January 12, a Boeing 767-300ER touched down on the runway at New York’s JFK airport, bringing with it a US brand name that had vanished several years earlier. Miami-based Eastern Airlines’ inaugural flight to New York from the Ecuadorian city of Guayaquil was the first flight to carry the once legendary Eastern. Steve Harfst, Eastern Airlines president and CEO, is optimistic about both the airline and its name, saying “people remember Eastern.” It’s “a powerful name.” The new Eastern’s inaugural flight from Guayaquil to JFK, on the other hand, took off without a hitch. In Ecuador, a ribbon-cutting and announcement signified the launch, but there was little else in the way of ceremony. Eastern’s service would thrive on demand for a low price point carrier at a time when airlines are limiting baggage allowances and/or charging high fees for additional baggage. Eastern isn’t levying extra charges for its standard luggage allowance. A search on ticket prices reveal Eastern is is undercutting rival budget carrier JetBlue by nearly $200. (CNN travel)
March 13, 2020 Eastern Airlines began it’s rescue operations for stranded passengers due to the Covid 19. Eastern Pilots, Flight Attendants, and Line Mechanics have brought home over 20,000 stranded citizens less than two months after relaunching EAL. The airline is still offering multiple relief flights to Central and South America. These currently include Buenos Aires, Argentina and Asuncion, Paraguay.
New Destinations for Initial Route Expansion:
JFK, New York
Los Cabos, Mexico
Port au Prince, Haiti
Jinan, China Date of Service TBD
Anchorage, Alaska Date of Service TBD
Eastern’s Long History
Eastern was a major US airline from 1926 to 1991.
Then in 2015 the airline relaunched (or more accurately, rights to the name were purchased), as the airline started flying 737s to the Caribbean, including Cuba. Less than two years later their air operator certificate was taken away, and they went out of business. In April 2018, Dynamic International Airways acquired the Eastern name, and have now branded themselves as Eastern.
Eastern’s International Expansion Plans
Rather than focusing on charter flights. Eastern is now planning scheduled international flights. A couple of weeks ago the airline filed with the US DOT to request permission to operate daily nonstop flights between New York and Guayaquil as of May 1, 2019. Eastern wants to launch 2x weekly flights from New York to Anchorage to Jinan, China. They want the right to sell the domestic flight as well, so that passengers could travel exclusively between New York and Anchorage.
DOT Filing: “Jinan is the capital of Shandong Province with a population of approximately 7 million – almost twice the population of Los Angeles. It currently has no non-stop service to the US. There are currently no non-stop flights from Anchorage, Alaska to New York City JFK. These flights will open up new markets to both foreign and domestic travelers. We understand there is substantial Chinese tourism interest in Alaska.” (onemileatatime)
Aviation Travel Writer: The Flight Times Blog
Link: Aviation Travel Writer Eastern
Link: CNN Travel Eastern
Link: Routes Online Eastern
Link: Fox News Eastern