US start-up carrier Eastern Air Lines is expected to launch flights at the end of May after the US Department of Transportation awarded the carrier a licence to introduce charter flights. After being found fit for business the regulator confirmed this week it was issuing a certificate authorising Eastern to engage in interstate charter air transportation of persons, property, and mail.
The award permits the carrier to introduce charter services only and it is currently limited to operating no more than three aircraft without notifying the Department in writing at least 45 days prior to the proposed operation and demonstrate its fitness to conduct such operations before their commencement.
The airline plans to launch operations on May 30, 2015 with a special Boeing 737-800 passenger charter between its Miami International Airport base and Baltimore Washington International. This will be an ‘Honor Flight’ transporting World War II and Korean War era veterans from South Florida to Washington and back.
The start-up brings an iconic name back to the US airline business and while not affiliated with the original Eastern, the new group has acquired its intellectual property, including the name, branding and old slogans. Although the company will initially will operate as a charter provider, it plans to commence scheduled passenger services in the future with a focus on the Latin American market.