Eastern Airlines Launches Eastern Air Cargo

Eastern B777 Express Freighter Service to Serve Growing E-Commerce Market and Provide Cargo Solutions for Global Enterprise Customers as a True Class-E cargo aircraft

WAYNE, Pa., Sept. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Eastern Airlines, the affordable airline featuring non-stop international passenger routes, today announced that it is expanding into the cargo market.  Eastern has secured the acquisition of 35 B777 aircraft as feedstock for the first-ever P2F (Passenger to Freighter) conversion of the B777 aircraft into a true, Class-E cargo aircraft. The Eastern B777 Express Freighter is designed to serve the e-commerce express freight market. Accelerated growth of this market has created excess demand for the service.

"We are thrilled to offer this service to customers who have struggled to find capacity in the cargo market and to offer a nimble aircraft solution to serve customer needs," said Steve Harfst, Eastern Airlines President and CEO.  "This move is not just a game changer for Eastern, it will also transform the industry."

Subject to STC approvals, the Eastern B777 Express Freighter will be a fully certified cargo aircraft with a "Class-E" main deck capable of carrying a full load of volumetric express cargo non-stop between Asia and the US.  The Eastern Express Freighter will not be subject to the restrictions on cargo commodities that are imposed on conventional passenger aircraft used as freighters. 

Due to enter service in Q1 2022, the Eastern B777 Express Freighter will be first to market.  The innovative design converts the main deck cabin of the widebody B777, the -200, -200ER and -300 series, into a true cargo aircraft.  This allows the entire volume of the main deck cabin to hold low-density, express freight cargo.

"Our pioneering conversion method is tailored specifically to meet the needs of express package freight customers," said Harfst.  "It is more efficient and cost effective allowing us to better serve the exact needs of our customers at a competitive price."  Future derivative plans for the design include a palletized loading system and an Express Main Deck cargo door.

Eastern Air Cargo will offer general cargo sales, cargo charters, ACMI/wet-leasing and dry leasing.

"We look forward to customizing Eastern Air Cargo offerings along with our customers to create a truly meaningful opportunity for change in the cargo space," Harfst said.

Eastern Airlines LLC, a U.S. Part 121 Air Carrier operating scheduled and non-scheduled, international and domestic air transportation with a fleet of B767 and B777 aircraft, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Eastern Air Holdings Inc.  In addition to Eastern Airlines, Eastern Air Holdings subsidiaries include FMS LLC, a Part 145 repair station providing aircraft maintenance services to a variety of Boeing and Airbus widebody and narrowbody aircraft types including B767 and B777 aircraft and Foxtrot Aero LLC providing P2F STC development and engineering services.  Eastern Airlines was originally founded in 1926 and with its re-launch in 2018, became the first scheduled carrier to be certified in the United States since 2007.  For more information, please visit goeasternair.com.

SOURCE: Eastern Airlines Press Release, 9/1/2021

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