Category Archives: Eastern Airlines

54th Anniversary of DC-9 commemorated with Eastern Air Lines PlaneTag

Fifty four years ago, on February 25, 1965, the first Douglas DC-9 took to the skies from Long Beach, California, and became one of the most popular passenger jets ever built. It was a completely new design, economical and perfect for short range flights to airports with small runways.

Eastern Air Lines began decades earlier as a small Philadelphia based airline. Led by World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker, it quickly gained a near monopoly of the New York-to-Floridaroute, and dominated the East Coast market for decades. It expanded routes to Canada, Mexico, Caribbean, Latin America, and at one time, to Great Britain.  In 1971, with the purchase of Caribair, it acquired several DC-9-31s, including Tail N8990E. The DC-9 enabled the airline to continue its expansion and market domination for years.  During its last full year of business in 1990, it flew 16.50 million passengers through its Atlanta hub (74.7% of their total passenger base), with its DC 9 fleet carrying more than half of the total number of flights with around 390 per day. It continued to fly DC-9s until January 1991 when the airline closed its doors for good.

Tail N8990E was then decommissioned, and later broken up in 1994. It was rescued by MotoArt, and upcycled into pocket-sized, collectible PlaneTags™. “It’s like owning a piece of aviation history,” says owner Dave Hall. “The flight may be over. The airline may be gone…but you still have something you can hold and keep and pass down to the next generation.” Like other PlaneTags™, each features the original paint, with dents and other imperfections that make them unique. They are numbered in a limited edition series and have become mementos cherished by aviation enthusiasts.

The new Eastern announces a new major investor

Eastern (2nd) 737-800 WL (65)(Flt-1)(Eastern)(LRW)

Eastern Air Lines (2nd) (Miami) has issued this statement:

Eastern Air Lines is pleased to announce the closing of its current equity round, with a major investment from Mr. Vincent Viola. Mr. Viola is an investor and entrepreneur whose business career has spanned over three decades. He previously rose to Chairman of the New York Mercantile Exchange, and is currently the Chairman of Virtu Financial, as well as the co-founder and a significant shareholder in Independent Bank in Texas and the owner of the Florida Panthers of the National Hockey League.

Mr. Viola is also a graduate of the United States Military Academy and New York Law School and has led the funding and creation of the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. Over the past 30 years he has been a leading advocate for veteran’s issues and philanthropy.

“We are extremely honored to have Mr. Viola as our major shareholder and having the benefit of his broad business experience as a board member. He is a patriot as well as a highly accomplished business and civic leader, with a strong commitment to South Florida where Eastern is headquartered”, said Ed Wegel, Eastern’s President and CEO.

Mr. Viola commented, “I am delighted to be part of the re-launch of this great American company, and look forward to working closely with Eastern’s board and management in guiding the growth of this charter airline.”

The new carrier is hiring pilots. Previously on June 30 the company issued this statement:

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. has announced it is now accepting pilot applications online. Eastern plans to begin operating Boeing 737- 800 aircraft from its Miami base, subject to US government regulatory approval.

“This is an exciting time in our industry and Eastern will be providing good flight crew jobs with great promotion potential as we grow with 737 Next Generation aircraft, and eventually the 737 MAX,” said Eastern’s Vice President of Flight Operations, Captain John Furneaux.

Eastern is hiring Line Pilots and Check Airmen. The airline will initially hire a cadre of ten Captains and then additional hires of 25 to 30 pilots. Favorable consideration will be given to pilots with Boeing 737 and 757/767 type ratings. The airline expects pilots will have an extraordinary opportunity to advance rapidly during Eastern’s growth phase.

In addition, Eastern will offer compensation packages comparable to those of similar airlines.

Minimum qualifications include:

Valid FAA ATP Certificate
Current FAA First Class Medical Certificate
Valid FCC Restricted Radio Telephone Operator Permit
Favorable background check, including PRIA records examination, criminal history records check and National Driver Registry check
Bachelor degree
Current passport and legal eligibility to work in the United States
Current US driver’s license
Captain flight time minimums:
7000 hours total fixed-wing PIC/SIC flight time
2000 hours fixed-wing, turbo jet, PIC flight time
First Officer flight time minimums:
3000 hours total fixed-wing PIC/SIC flight time
1000 hours fixed-wing, turbo jet and/or turbo prop, PIC flight time

In addition to pilots, Eastern is seeking to fill a variety of other positions listed on the Career Opportunities page of its website. Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to apply online.

Image: Eastern Air Lines.

Eastern Airlines (1st) Slide Show: AG Slide Show

The new Eastern orders 10 Boeing 737-800s


Eastern (2nd) 737-800 WL (Eastern)(LRW)

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. (2nd) (Miami) has signed an initial order and placed deposits with the Boeing Company for ten (10) firm Next Generation 737-800 aircraft and purchase rights for ten (10) Boeing MAX 8 aircraft.

“Eastern is extremely honored and privileged to be in business with Boeing once again. Eastern’s strong relation­ship with Boeing dates back to the 1930’s, and later Eastern was the first airline to order and operate both the Boeing 727 and 757 aircraft. We will now proudly have the Boeing 737 Next Generation, and eventually the MAX aircraft, as our fleet standard,” said Edward J. Wegel, Eastern’s President and CEO.

Image: Eastern Air Lines Group.

Eastern Airlines (1st): AG Slide Show

The new Eastern picks the Boeing 737-800 as its first aircraft type, will Spirit Airlines beat it to Miami?

Eastern (2nd) 737-800 WL (Eastern)(LR)

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. (Miami), better known as the proposed “new Eastern”, has apparently selected the Boeing 737-800 as its first aircraft type. The new version of Eastern had previously looked at the Airbus A319 and later the A320.

On their website, the group has added a rendering of a Boeing 737-800 with Winglets in Eastern colors (above) with this photo caption:

This is the current artists rendering of an Eastern Boeing 737-800 in the Eastern livery. This aircraft, the “Spirit of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker” is expected to be delivered to Eastern in late Summer 2014.

Eastern logo (large)

As previously reported, in January 2014, the new Eastern filed an application with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

When the first aircraft arrives, the new proposed airline will then go through the final Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Part 121 certification process leading to an Air Operators Certificate (AOC).

The new airline has proposed using Miami as its new hub.

Spirit logo


Spirit Airlines is reportedly in negotiations to bring some of its ultra low-fare operations to Miami. Spirit Airlines has looked at Miami briefly in the past but decided to keep all of its South Florida operations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (FLL).

Read the report from Brian Andrews of CBS Miami: CLICK HERE

Image: Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc.

Eastern Airlines (1st) Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Spirit Airlines Slide Show: AG Slide Show

Will the Eastern name and brand return to Miami? CEO Ed Wegel wants to fly Airbus A320s in Eastern colors

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc., (2nd) (Miami) has filed an application with the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) for a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.  Eastern plans on commencing its Part 121 certification with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) shortly and has retained legal counsel and consultants for this purpose.

“We are honored to have the opportunity to launch an airline bearing the iconic Eastern Air Lines name,” said Eastern’s President and CEO Edward Wegel. “We have recruited a world class board of directors and a highly experienced management team to guide and lead this effort.”

Eastern logo (large)

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. was formed to relaunch Eastern Air Lines as a passenger airline using the Airbus A320 aircraft from its main base of operations at Miami International Airport (MIA).  Eastern’s headquarters is located in Building 5A at MIA.

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. is not affiliated with the former Eastern Air Lines, which operated from 1928 to 1991 as one of the largest U.S. domestic air carriers.

For more information visit and follow @FlyEastern.

Copyright Photo: Bruce Drum/ The original Eastern Airlines was the U.S. launch customer of the Airbus A300. Airbus A300B4-103 N213EA (msn 092) taxies to the gate (now American Airlines’ Terminal D on the north side) at Eastern’s old Miami International Airport hub. Eastern sold its Latin American routes to American Airlines.

Eastern Airlines (original): AG Slide Show

Historical Flight Foundation’s Douglas DC-7B N836D receives FAA permission to fly

Historical Flight Foundation, Inc. (HFF) (Opa-locka) has received Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) authority to operate its restored Douglas DC-7B N836D (msn 43545) which is painted in the 1940 Falcon colors of Eastern Air Lines (later Eastern Airlines). The FAA granted an exemption to Historical Flight Foundation to operate the classic airliner effective March 23, 2010.

According to the press release, “The FAA finds that a grant of exemption would be in the public interest and would provide an equivalent level of safety to that provided by current regulation.”

The HFF is unique in that its Douglas Aircraft Company DC-7B aircraft represents the only U.S. based, four engine, passenger propliner in operation today. With the advent of jet aircraft, most of the DC-7B aircraft disappeared from commercial airline service by the early 1970’s. The majority of the DC-7 were simply scrapped as they were seen as being un-economical to operate. In this unique case, the aircraft being operated by the HFF was still in its original passenger configuration as delivered to Eastern Air Lines in January 1958. Of the 112 DC-7 aircraft produced, this is the only surviving passenger configuration aircraft.

Signed: John W. McGraw, Acting Director, Flight Standards Service

The HFF sincerely appreciates the great effort on the part of the FAA to promote the living history program it has been approved for. The HFF is an IRS certified 501(c)(3) not for profit organization. The airplane will be touring the continental USA in the years ahead creating a passion for aviation not seen for a long time.We will be taking reservations deposits on a first come first served basis. Contact the HFF for details.

The announcement date for the Christening and Inaugural Flight will be made in the forthcoming weeks.

Roger Jarman, Secretary
Historical Flight Foundation, Inc.
Miami, Florida”

This is a fine organization, please visit their website:

Copyright Photo: Keith Burton. Douglas DC-7B N836D (msn 43545) shines again in the Florida sunshine at Opa-locka (near Miami).

Aviation Mystery: Can you identify the airport?




Eastern Air Lines (later Eastern Airlines) (Miami) operated a fleet of 60 Martin 404s from 1951 through 1962 on its local routes, serving many small airports mainly in the southeastern United States. The pictured N464A (msn 14155) was delivered in April 1952 and served the company through August 1961. The owner of this slide would like to identify the airport where this photo was taken if possible. Any suggestions are welcome. Thank you.