Posted on: 14 July 2014
Eastern Air Lines Group, which is reviving the brand which operated from 1930 to 1991, has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation to buy 20 MRJ90s with 20 purchase rights for the same model.
Deliveries of the MRJ90s to the Miami-based operator are scheduled to begin in 2019.
Eastern is relaunching services next year with Boeing 737-800s and will operate from Miami to Latin America and the Cairbbean. “We are currently working with the FAA in the certification process for the airline,” reported the airline group’s president and CEO, Ed Wegel. He then explained that there were three components behind why Eastern chose the MRJ. “The first is the outstanding quality that Mitsubishi represents; next is the geared turbofan technology in the engine – and access to that is a gamechanger for airlines; and the customer appeal with the increased headroom, wider seat and wider aisle.” Wegel indicated that Boeing will be involved in the customer support for the MRJ.
Seat configuration on the MRJ90s has not yet been confirmed. “It’ll be 2-class and looks like being 82 seats, but we’re still working on it,” Wegel remarked. “Similarly Eastern is still working on the route planning and the network. We’ll be starting as an ACMI/charter operation and will grow into scheduled service by the end of 2015.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net