Remember Eastern Airlines? If you do, you might remember the turbulence that took place just a short time before the carrier’s ultimate demise.
The headline for this edition of ‘It Happened This Week’ is: ‘Eastern back in BSP but will agents book until all losses are covered?’
Eastern was one of the U.S. airline industry’s Big Five, along with American Airlines, TWA, United and PanAm. The five competitors dominated for decades.
The trouble for Eastern started in the late 1980s. Just a year after Eastern was sold to Texas Air – which had already bought Continental Airlines – Eastern was hit with an FAA fine to the tune of US$9.5 million, for safety violations. Then came massive layoffs. And not long after, labour unrest, including sympathy strikes by the pilots’ and flight attendants’ unions, lead to a disastrous stretch of cancelled flights and financial upheaval.
Eastern ultimately filed for bankruptcy protection – the same year this story ran. The airline could never get back to its glory days and halted operations a couple of years later.
Did the headline appear in Travelweek in 1989, 1992 or 1995?
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