With Eastern Airlines about to rise like a phoenix from the ashes, we thought that now would be a good time to give you the low down on how they plan to operate the airline.
Back when I was a young boy and the Apollo space program was in full swing the, distinctive hockey stick-shaped Caribbean Blue over Ionosphere Blue livery on a silver fuselage was a common sight at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE).
Heck, the airline even had former astronaut Frank Borman as the company president who, along with James Lovell Jr. and William Anders, were the first men to orbit the moon aboard Apollo 8.
Little did I know then, but later in my life, Eastern Air Lines was affiliated with the airline I worked for, and my standby ride to the Caribbean once a month for my days off.
I even remember once getting to fly in the cockpit jump seat for the short hop from Nassau to Miami.
Sadly, Eastern Air Lines and the airline I worked for went belly up in the early 1990s, but I will always have fond memories of my time flying with them.
The new Eastern Airlines was once a charter company
The new Eastern Airlines that we have today is an entirely different animal than the Eastern Air Lines of old. It is born out of a charter company called Dynamic Airways based just outside of Philadelphia, in Wayne, Pennsylvania.
Not only have they dropped the space in their name between the words Air Lines they are only going to fly to two destinations in South America from New York.
Initially, Eastern Airlines wanted to commence flying last month, but that was pushed back to January with their first flight from JFK scheduled for January 13th.
The flight will be once a week from New York John F. Kennedy Airport (JFK) to Aeropuerto Internacional José Joaquín De Olmedo (GYE) in Guayaquil, Ecuador.
Eastern Airlines’ permission to launch the flight from the United States Department of Transport (DOT) expires two days later on January 15th, 2020.
For the more than six-hour flight from New York to the South American Pacific coast, Eastern Airlines will operate a Boeing 767-300(ER) aircraft.
Guayaquil has a population of more than 2.5 million
Currently, both JetBlue and LATAM Ecuador operate a daily service between New York City and Guayaquil, so it will be interesting to see where Eastern Airlines marketing is aimed at.
At a guess, I would say that they would be looking to undercut the other two airlines with cheaper fares.
Although there has not as yet been an announcement as to a starting date, Eastern Airlines’ second destination from JFK will be to Cheddi Jagan International Airport (GEO) in Georgetown, Guyana.
According to aviation website CH-Aviation, Eastern Airlines currently has eight aircraft all of which are various models of the Boeing 767 and are aged between 28 and 35 years old.
Some people are already predicting the airline’s demise as they don’t see secondary South American destinations as being profitable. I, on the other hand, am more optimistic as they will be looking to fly full planeloads of passengers with their once-weekly service.
And while Guayaquil might be a secondary market, it has a population of more than 2.5 million and caters to all domestic flights to the Galápagos Islands.
Eastern Airlines will try and fill the planes
As for Georgetown, I am not too sure, but assume it is one of those places that is overlooked by the larger airlines. Having said that, both American Airlines and Caribbean Airlines, offer flights from GEO to JFK.
Again, it may be a case of selling less expensive tickets and filling the seats for the once-weekly service.
To celebrate their first flight from Guayaquil to New York City, Eastern Airlines is offering one-way fares starting from $139.
One thing is for sure and that is they have a stellar name that most people alive today over the age of 40 will recognize.
Sadly for me, they will not be using Eastern Air Lines old livery, opting instead for a unique design inspired by the local colors and geography of the destinations they will serve.
If you happen to be flying on Eastern Airlines down to Guayaquil we would love to hear all about it.