Exclusive: Ed Wegel Out as Eastern Air Lines CEO

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Exclusive: Ed Wegel Out as Eastern Air Lines CEO

Unread post by bimjim » Sat Oct 15, 2016

https://airwaysmag.com/airlines/ed-wege ... lines-ceo/

Exclusive: Ed Wegel Out as Eastern Air Lines CEO
Chris Sloan
October 14, 2016

ROBERTO LEIRO

MIAMI

Airline executive Ed Wegel has left his position as President and CEO of Eastern Air Lines, less than 18 months after the carrier’s first flight in May 2015. He has been replaced by the airline’s Chief Financial Officer, James Tolzien.

The reasons behind his departure from the privately held airline are unclear. But questions behind the airline’s business plan could be a factor. While the airline has been successful in the sports and charter markets, especially to Cuba, where it serves six cities, it is now under pressure as U.S. airline scheduled flights have begun.

There are also rumblings of issues resulting from the now delayed Mitsubishi MRJ order, though this has not been confirmed.

Wegel is a popular figure among the airline’s employees, having been the driving force behind the airline’s relaunch since the dark days of the 2008-09 recession when planning began. He succeeded in finally bringing The Great Silver Fleet back to Miami in December 2014. Wegel is particularly known and appreciated for his support of Eastern’s Veteran’s Honor Flights. He served five years active military service as an Army officer in the U.S. and Europe.
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    Ed Wegel, former CEO of Eastern Airlines with a company Boeing 737-700. Photo: Eastern Airlines
Prior to joining Eastern as CEO, Ed Wegel had many years experience in the airline and in investment banking industries. Wegel was Director of Finance for the original Eastern and a Director of Operations for Pan American from 1985 to 1987. Subsequent senior leadership positions included Mesa Air, Chautauqua, Mesa Air Group, Tower Air, Atlantic Coast, Tower Air, and Chairman / CEO of Travelogix.

Incoming CEO James Tolzien has extensive senior executive credentials at TraveLeaders, Alamo, and Budget Rental Car, as well as in private equity.

Eastern operates charters to the Caribbean and Latin America, including The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, Guyana and Haiti.

Eastern had planned to be operating scheduled service 12-18 months after launch with an emphasis on connecting secondary U.S. markets with those in the Caribbean and Latin America, avoiding direct head on competition with dominant players JetBlue and American. Those plans thus far have not materialized.

Particularly, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) opted to defer the carrier’s petition to serve the routes from Miami to Camaguey and Holguin as Eastern’s current operating authority limits it to providing charter flights only.

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. was formed to re-launch Eastern as a passenger airline, using four Boeing 737-700/800 from its base at Miami International Airport (MIA).

The carrier has orders for ten 737 MAX aircraft and 20 Mitsubishi MRJ-90 aircraft. Eastern€™s headquarters is located in Building 5A at MIA. The building used to house the system and maintenance control centers of the original airline.

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. is not affiliated with the former Eastern Air Lines, which operated from 1928 to 1991 as one of the largest U.S. domestic air carriers.

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Incoming CEO James Tolzien has extensive senior executive credentials at Traveleaders, Alamo, and Budget Rental Car, as well as in private equity.

Eastern operates charters to the Caribbean and latin America, including The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, Guyana and Haiti.

Eastern had planned to be operating scheduled service 12-18 months after launch with an emphasis on connecting secondary U.S. markets with those in the Caribbean and latin America, avoiding direct head on competition with dominant players JetBlue and American. Those plans thus far have not materialized.

Particularly, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) opted to defer the carriers petition to serve the routes from Miami to Camaguey and Holguin as Eastern's current operating authority limits it to providing charter flights only.

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. was formed to re-Iaunch Eastern as a passenger airline, using four Boeing 737-700/800 from its base at Miami International Airport (MIA).

The carrier has orders for ten 737-MAX aircraft and 20 Mitsubishi MRJ-90 aircraft. Eastern's headquarters is located in Building SA at MIA. The building used to house the system and maintenance control centers of the original airline.

Eastern Air Lines Group, Inc. is not affiliated with the former Eastern Airlines, which operated from 1928 to 1991 as one of the largest US domestic air carriers.

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