Eastern Air Lines is not coming back

There has been some news now and in the recent past about a group of people (some originally from Eastern Airlines) forming a new startup in the Miami area (in the old Eastern building).  Most recently there have been reports about an RFP (request for proposal) for up to 10 used aircraft that this new company can purchase.

The company is to start as a charter and use either Boeing or Airbus equipment to start.  This would mean Boeing 737 or Airbus A320 aircraft.

Need I remind anyone how the charter world typically does for any new business?  Or how badly charter companies do when they attempt to transition to a scheduled carrier?

While these people may have some money and opportunity to get started as an airline, I’m extremely uncomfortable with the trade on the Eastern Airlines name to start with.  First of all, if anyone thinks that Eastern Airlines left people with great memories of travel, they would be wrong.  The airline left most people with a bad taste in their mouth and there is a reason why the airline went bankrupt.

That reason wasn’t Frank Lorenzo despite how many want it to be.  It had a lot to do with a bloated operation that didn’t focus on customer experience.  People didn’t fly the airline and didn’t like the airline.  There was no legend of greatness in that airline.  It never was known for that even when Eddie Rickenbacker led the airline.

New airlines can be great things to watch and I get excited by them too.  But this isn’t the one to get worked up over.

When someone like David Neeleman comes into the marketplace and starts using an innovative strategy focused on customer experience using the right aircraft, then we can talk.  That person hasn’t shown up yet.


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