Friday, July 17, 2009

The Return of Eastern Airlines?

Eastern Airlines stopped flying and dissolved in 1991. Now, a core group of former employees and new investors is lining up funding with the goal of relaunching the forgotten carrier under a new business model. Seriously.

I know what you're thinking: it's not a good time to start an airline. And you have a point. Every airline is trading in the red. Fuel prices are not favorable even with oil having fallen to a "mere" $62 per barrel, and how long will it be before we see $70 or higher again on speculation?

But hey, these people have stayed in touch for 18 years since their employer went out of business. They've spent a lot of time on this, including designing an employee stock ownership plan that should align the interests of labor and management (a perennial problem for airlines). They're also looking to start small, with just 30 planes.

Will it work? I doubt it. But at least they won't need to hire someone to design a new logo.

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