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Eastern Airlines Plans Expansion of Routes and Fleet
The new Eastern Airlines launched in 2019 and has been steadily expanding its point-to-point network. So far, the carrier has established ten international routes, with plans for further expansion. On Tuesday, Routesonline reported that Eastern plans to add at least seven more routes to its network, and will focus on destinations in South America and the Caribbean.
New International Destinations
The seven new routes include service to Brazil, Ecuador and the Dominican Republic. In Brazil, Eastern plans to offer three flights to Belo Horizonte: one from Boston, a second from Miami and a third from New York-JFK. Each flight will run twice-weekly.
- From New York-JFK: Tuesdays and Saturdays, return on Tuesdays and Saturdays
- From Boston: Sundays and Thursdays, return on Mondays and Fridays
- From Miami: Mondays and Fridays, return on Sundays and Wednesdays
In Ecuador, Eastern wants to add flights to Quito and expand its presence in Guayaquil. The airline already serves Guayaquil from New York-JFK and Miami, and it wants to add a route from Los Angeles. Meanwhile, new routes to Quito from Miami and New York-JFK will operate once-weekly.
Lastly, Eastern will add a thrice-weekly flight to Santo Domingo from Miami. However, data from OAG Schedules Analyzer shows another route filing for a twice-weekly flight from Boston to Santo Domingo.
More Aircraft, More Cargo
With plans for more flights comes the need for more aircraft. The airline currently operates ten planes, consisting mostly of 767-200s and 767-300s. However, Eastern has filed a request to the Department of Transportation (DOT) to increase its fleet to 18 aircraft, and it appears at least four of those will be 777s. According to Routesonline, Eastern has bought two Boeing 777-200ER aircraft expected to enter service in the second quarter of 2021 for commercial use.
Furthermore, Air Cargo News has reported that Eastern is entering the cargo market with the lease of two Boeing 777-200 freighters. According to Aviator, these freighters are still in the FAA certification process but should be in service by April 1, 2021.
Eastern also plans to offer wet-lease aircraft, crew, maintenance, and insurance (ACMI) flights and full-service charter flights. For its full-service charter services, Eastern hopes to contract with “companies, professional and collegiate sports teams, colleges, and universities for incentive travel or to ensure the team and/or fans get to and from the game on time.”
According to the airline, this expansion will allow it to fully utilize its cabin and flight crewmembers.
The company explained, “Given the pandemic, it is especially important that Eastern be right-sized to operate at peak efficiency, which is not possible with the current fleet restrictions. Currently, both flight crews and maintenance personnel are underutilized. For example, Eastern can operate all the new scheduled service referenced below without adding any flight crew, maintenance personnel or infrastructure.
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