Is Eastern Air Lines poised for a big comeback? And if it does, will it use nostalgic ads to help rebuild its brand?
Success is probably unlikely, as most startup airlines fail. And though Eastern launched in 2014 with a familiar name, this is far from the airline that folded in 1991. As I wrote recently for Conde Nast Traveler, the new Eastern is exclusively a charter carrier, flying four Boeing 737s mainly to Latin America and the Caribbean. But it has a bunch of airplanes on order, and eventually, the CEO told me, Eastern might once again be a regular scheduled airline.
If you visit CNTraveler.com, you can learn the basics of Eastern's plans, as as well as what Brett Snyder - you know him as Cranky Flier - thinks of the idea. [Spoiler: He's not a big fan, arguing few travelers have nostalgia for Eastern.]
Eastern CEO Ed Wegel, however, said he thinks differently. He argues people miss Eastern. "I know the power of the name," he told me. In Miami, where the new airline is based, he claims name recognition for the airline is above 80 percent.
Eastern intends to cash in on that, possibly by bringing back some old advertising slogans. It has not made any decisions yet on what to use, but Wegel said the airline owns just about all the old intellectual property, or I.P., once held by the old Eastern.
For example, he is intrigued by possibly bringing back the old line, "No. 1 to the Sun."
But Wegel is less bullish about another slogan - "The Wings of Man."
"We own that as part of the I.P. that was transferred to us," Wegel said. "But I don't know. Using the word, 'man' these days is not politically correct. I guess you could say the 'wings of people.' But we don't have any plans to bring that back at this point."
Do you think Eastern should bring back some old advertising taglines? If so, which ones might hold up best?
And do you think it's a good idea to bring back Eastern?