Eastern Air Lines Tribute ¶
Eastern Air Lines was a major United States airline from 1926 to 1991. Before its dissolution it was headquartered at Miami International Airport in an unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, Florida.
In 1938 World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker bought Eastern from General Motors. The complex deal was concluded when Rickenbacker presented Alfred P. Sloan with a certified check for $3.5 million. Rickenbacker pushed Eastern into a period of prodigious growth and innovation; for a time Eastern was the most profitable airline in the post-war era, never needing state subsidy. In the late 1950s Eastern's position was eroded by state subsidies to rival airlines and the arrival of the jet age. Rickenbacker's position as CEO was taken over by Malcolm A. MacIntyre, 'a brilliant lawyer but a man inexperienced in airline operations'. on October 1, 1959. His ouster was due largely to his reluctance to acquire jets, feeling that they were unnecessary and expensive. A new management team headed by Floyd D. Hall took over the operation on 16 December 1963, and Rickenbacker left his position as Director and Chairman of the Board on December 31, 1963, aged 73.
Just before Walt Disney World opened in 1971 Eastern became its "official airline", which proved beneficial for Eastern as well as Disney. It remained the official airline of Walt Disney World, which even had an Eastern-themed ride at its park (If You Had Wings in Tomorrowland where Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin is currently located), until its contracting route network forced Disney to switch to Delta shortly before Eastern's 1989 bankruptcy filing. The ride was subsequently rethemed. - Wikipedia