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Ed Wegel out as Eastern Air Lines CEO

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Ed Wegel out as Eastern Air Lines CEO

Unread post by bimjim » Mon Oct 17, 2016

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/busines ... 76627.html

Ed Wegel out as Eastern Air Lines CEO
Chabeli Herrera

October 17, 2016

Former Eastern Air Lines presideEd Wegel out as Eastern Air Lines CEOnt and CEO Ed Wegel at the airline’s headquarters near Miami International Airport in January 2015.

Ed Wegel, who helped resurrect Eastern Air Lines for its inaugural flights to Cuba last year, has left his position, according to multiple reports.

As president and CEO of the airline, Wegel helped shepherd in a new era for Eastern after the carrier ceased operations 25 years ago. Last summer, the airline began leasing its planes to Miami-based HavanaAir for flights from Miami International Airport to Havana, Holguin, Camaguey, Santa Clara and Santiago de Cuba.

According to Airways Magazine, a number of sources said Wegel was forced out of his position, which has now been filled by chief financial officer James Tolzien.

“We were just as surprised as everyone else on his release,” said Mark Elias, president and chief operating officer of Havana Air, in an email. “He was indeed instrumental in negotiating our start up with Eastern as our contracted charter provider and assisted us regularly in our requesting flights.”

Eastern Air Lines has not yet released a statement of Wegel’s departure. Multiple calls and emails to the airline, including to Tolzien and Wegel, were not returned.

On Monday, Wegel’s photo and biography were still listed in the airline’s website under leadership.

Prior to his role at Eastern, Wegel held leadership positions at half a dozen airlines. Incoming Eastern CEO Tolzien has 40 years of business experience, including as president of TraveLeaders, a corporate travel management company.

Wegel’s involvement with Eastern began in 2007, when he and his partners began to work to reestablish the airline, raise millions of dollars in capital, train staff and reach agreements to fly to Cuba.

At the airline’s inaugural Cuba flight in May 2015, Wegel told the Herald he felt “a sense of pride in our people that they put all this together.”

The line also flies to several destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America and operates sports charters for the Florida Panthers and San Francisco Giants. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation denied Eastern’s bid for commercial flights from Miami to Holguin and Camaguey.

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