Return of an icon

With sun shining down and Sinatra blaring on the speakers, an iconic airline celebrated its rebirth in Miami on Friday. I had the pleasure of speaking at the re-launch ceremony for the new Eastern Air Lines.

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The first airplane for the new Eastern Air Lines, a 737-800, arrives to a water cannon salute in Miami.

Eastern’s first airplane, a 737-800, touched down at Miami International with hundreds of former employees sharing memories of the past— and looking toward the future.

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A flight attendant shows off the new uniforms for the airline.

Eastern plans to start operating in the second quarter of next year with charter flights, with regular flights coming soon after. The airline has 10 of our 737-800s on order with plans to add the 737 MAX 8 in the future.

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Hundreds of former employees welcomed Eastern’s first airplane to Miami.

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The airplane was dedicated to “The Spirit of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker,” Eastern’s CEO from 1930 to 1965.

We’ve shared a great past with Eastern, including special moments with the 727 and 757, and look forward to being a key part of their future. Our friends at Airways News have more photos from the event that you can see here.

I’ll leave you with a few photos from a great dinner in South Beach.

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A delicious Italian dinner in the heart of South Beach.

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Neon glowing along Ocean Drive in South Beach.

Comments (5)

Eliza (Tampa):

A lot of people have special memories of Eaatern, including my dad. It is great to see the name back in South Florida. Congratulations!!

Todd (Philadelphia):

Wow! My first flight was on Eastern airlines many years ago from Pittsburgh to Miami to see my grandparents! A 727 I think...

Cristiano Arruda (Campo Grande, MS, Brazil):

I am proud for you all. To restore a symbol and the philosophy that generated it to be brought to light again. When I saw the photo of the 757 dressing the Eastern Air Lines colors my soul felt like being in another life, centuries ahead in the level of modernity.

Best regards,

Cristiano Arruda

Norman Garza (Long Beach, CA):

Like Delta, Eastern was big in Florida, hubbed at Atlanta, and big in the East. Both were comparatively big when they both existed in the day and both operated Boeing, Airbus, Douglas, and Lockheed jets at the same time once in there histories, they had a blue cheat line in their liveries when they both co-existed and were, are suffixed with Air Lines, not Airlines. When Eastern Air lines fell in 1991 it was one of the biggest airlines to fall when years of bad management, poor moral, and the Gulf War help put an end to Eddie Rickenbacker's airline.

From the looks of it, the new Eastern Air Lines looks well funded and has orders for future aircraft from Boeing. I hope to see Eastern fly a 787 in the future, it would look very nice in Eastern colors.

Adam Sedgwick (Whitehall, Pa.):

I remembered my Eastern flight back in '76 or '77 to Orlando via Scranton/Wilkes Barrel, Pa. It was a DC-9 I was flown on when I was nine years old.

I loved the colors of Eastern logo. I was do thrilled to learn of Eastern's return. I will absolutely fly Eastern again!! Thank you for bringing Eastern back!! My most favorite airliner in the world - AGAIN!

Regards,

Adam Sedgwick

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