One of the largest airline
s in the United States
, until its demise in 1991. It was founded in 1927 flying between New York
with Ford Trimotor
and Curtiss Condor
aircraft, and exteneded its Atlantic seaboard
route to Miami
in 1932. For much of its history, it was run by flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker
In 1961, Eastern started the first shuttle service in airline history, between Washington, New York, and Boston, using Lockheed Electra aircraft: in 1967, they went jet. The shuttle was wildly successful, and has since been copied by US Airways and Delta Air Lines.
When airline deregulation rolled around, though, Eastern began to lose money, and in 1986, the airline was finally sold to corporate raider Frank Lorenzo. Lorenzo proved to be wildly unpopular with labor when he brought in non-union workers, and the mechanics waged a strike against him in 1989, which the pilots and flight attendants refused to cross. Lorenzo ended up selling the shuttle service to Donald Trump, and filed Eastern for bankruptcy in 1991, ending the airline's operations for good. American Airlines and US Airways picked up many of its aircraft and routes.
Eastern's fleet at the time of its demise consisted of Boeing 727, Boeing 757, McDonnell Douglas DC-10, Lockheed Tristar, and Airbus A300 aircraft.