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Eastern Airlines Plans to Fly Again Soon

An Eastern Airlines jetAn Eastern Airlines jet
Eastern Airlines is planning a comeback.Bill Foley—The LIFE Images Collection via Getty Images–Getty Images

Before its collapse and liquidation in the late 1980s and early 1990s, Eastern Airlines was one of the nation’s “Big Four” carriers. Now it could be taking to the skies again.

The airline stopped flying after a 1989 labor dispute ultimately led to the carrier filing for bankruptcy. Now, the carrier is awaiting Department of Transportation approval for a rebirth that would see it providing service to the Caribbean, South America and Asia, according to a report from Airways Magazine.

Like Circuit City and many other brand names that were once iconic, Eastern Airlines is today owned by a group that bought the intellectual property rights to the name. The airline has previously been focused on charter flights.

As part of the ambitious expansion, though, it reportedly plans to launch a fleet composed of second-hand Boeing 767-300 and 777-200 aircraft. It currently has eight 767s to its name.

Rather than taking on other airlines at their hubs,a strategy that contributed to its original downfall as it famously battled Delta Air Lines for the Atlanta market, the new Eastern will focus on point-to-point flights.

Initially, the new Eastern Airlines plans to fly from New York’s JFK to Guayaquil, Ecuador; Georgetown, Guyana; Anchorage, Alaska; and Jinan, China—all smaller markets that are not served from JFK.

As of now, there’s no announced timeline for the carrier to resume flights. Eastern, however, has relaunched its website and rolled out a new logo to begin getting the word out—and reminding people the carrier that was so big decades ago is still around today.

“Eastern Airlines was launched by seekers, explorers—and above all, fliers,” it said on its Website. “Our passion for aviation is unmatched in the universe. We pay attention to every detail, from the tiniest mechanical check to the locally-prepared meal served to the smiling customer in seat 17B.”

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