US budget carrier Eastern Airlines wants to expand its fleet by adding two Boeing 777-200 cargo ships. Currently, the carrier mainly operates a fleet of Boeing 767-200 and -300 to Central and South America.
Entering the freight market
Eastern Airlines currently operates a fleet of 10 aircraft. Most are fairly old Boeing 767s.
However, the budget, charter and chartered airline hopes to enter the cargo market by purchasing two dedicated cargo ships, the Boeing 777-200. The decision was revealed by filing a report with the US Department of Transportation, as reported by Air Cargo News.
The aviator reports that Eastern intends to bring the two trucks into commercial service sometime in the second quarter of this year, once FAA certification is approved. The airline expects the certification process for 777 trucks to be completed on or before April 1, 2021.
Aggressive fleet expansion
The report also notes that the carrier plans to expand its fleet to 18 aircraft. By adding additional passenger planes as well as cargo operations to its services, the airline hopes to make full use of its flight crew and maintenance staff. The application mentions:
“Given the pandemic, it is especially important that the East be the right size to work with peak efficiency, which is not possible with the current limitations of the fleet … At the moment, both flight crews and maintenance personnel are underused. For example, Eastern may perform all of the new scheduled services listed below without adding any flight crew, maintenance personnel, or infrastructure. “
According to Aviator, the following routes represent the airline’s baseline:
- New York (JFK) – Georgetown, Guyana (GEO);
- New York (JFK) – Anchorage (ANC);
- Miami (MIA) – Georgetown, Guyana (GEO);
- Miami (MIA) – Toronto (YYZ);
- New York (JFK) – Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE);
- Miami (MIA) – Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE);
- Miami (MIA) – Asuncion, Paraguay (ASU).
In addition, pending the necessary approval from a foreign government, the airline will include these seven additional routes in order:
- New York (JFK) – Quito, Ecuador (ITA);
- Miami (MIA) – Quito, Ecuador (ITA);
- Miami (MIA) – Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ);
- Los Angeles (LAX) – Guayaquil, Ecuador (GYE);
- Boston (BOS) – Belo Horizonte, Brazil (CNF);
- Miami (MIA) – Belo Horizonte, Brazil (CNF);
- New York (JFK) – Belo Horizonte, Brazil (CNF);
Entering the freight market will be a small turnaround from the usual East passenger operations. The carrier has contracts with the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) and tailors its services to government needs, as it calls them, a “basic air transportation solution”.
According to the website, she also wants to offer her services “Companies, professional and collegial sports teams, colleges and universities.”
What do you think about expanding the East to cargo operations? Let us know in the comments.
Simple Flying contacted Eastern Airlines for comment. However, no response was received at the time of publication.