Eastern Air Lines

Atlanta airport

Eastern Air Lines was an American airline based in Miami who register on 18 January 1991 bankruptcy and had to stop the operation.


Founded on April 19, 1926 under the name of Pitcairn Aviation, the company has focused on the mail transportation between New York and Atlanta to win a government contract. In 1929 she was acquired by North American Aviation and renamed in 1930 in Eastern Air Transport. Then began to expand its route network through the acquisition of various small airlines and climbed into the passenger traffic. In 1938 it was renamed the Eastern Air Lines. Led by legendary flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker began a wonderful time of growth.

After they had initially focused on routes on the East Coast, the network was extended to the rest of the country and from 1956 in 1945 to international routes. 1960 were first added to the fleet of machines of the DC-8 and Boeing 720 jets. Eastern Air Lines was the first American airline, which began also with the machinery of the European manufacturer Airbus A300 in 1975. The Airline Deregulation Act of October 28, 1978 complicated the business of the airline. The more profitable Delta Air Lines was a direct competitor to the major Hartsfield- Jackson International Airport in Atlanta.

From 1985, with the route Miami - London they took on the transatlantic routes. The mid-eighties prepared the rising personnel costs the company more and more problems. Attempts to bring it down, led to massive clashes with the unions, but not to the desired success. 1986 had the then President of the Society, ex- NASA astronaut Frank Borman, agree finally taking over the company weakened by the Texas Air Corporation.

The new management under Frank Lorenzo pursued an even more rigid austerity and got so also in confrontation with the workforce. Also, efforts to deliberately weaken Eastern as an airline with a high degree of union organization in favor of other companies of the Texas Air Group. Another company at Continental Airlines, under control of the group, sold and the accounting system of the Company abolished we would just use the Texas International - eg Eastern funds so were transferred to other companies of the conglomerate, Jets - without that payments were made - around 10 million U.S. dollars fee per month.

As a result of these actions and the already existing cost problem Eastern fell more and more into financial difficulties and was forced to massively reduce staff. This in turn exacerbated the disputes between management and the unions and thus the economic difficulties. First they tried to relieve the company financially by selling route rights and the closure of Airport hubs. Nevertheless, Eastern Air Lines in 1989 generated more than $ 800 million loss. The situation was aggravated by strikes that temporarily paralyzed parts of the fleet. In January 1991, finally came the end for Eastern Air Lines, which collapsed under a debt of over one and a half billion dollars.

Investors bought the name in 2009 from the bankrupt and plan in the summer of 2014 from Miami flights back to the old logo perform.


In its 65 -year history of Eastern Air Lines experienced higher than 100 unskilled and incidents. Here examples:

  • On February 8, 1965, a DC-7 of the Eastern Airlines Flight 663 crashed on the Boston to Atlanta after a stopover from. All 79 passengers and 5 crew members were killed.
  • On 29 December 1972, a Lockheed L -1011 TriStar rushed from New York to Miami via the Everglades from. See Eastern Air Lines Flight 401
  • On 24 June 1975, a Boeing 727 flying in difficult weather conditions in the approach lights of runway at JFK Airport New York. At the time there were violent wind shear. In the accident a total of 112 people were killed, 12 survived; aboard the plane there were 116 passengers and 8 crew members.
  • On 1 January 1985 also a Boeing 727 collided with the Illimani in La Paz, Bolivia. In this case, all 29 passengers were killed.