New airline, familiar name to launch in Miami

— An airline with a familiar name is looking to fly out of South Florida again.

Eastern Air Lines Group announced Tuesday that it has taken the first step to launching a new airline in Miami.

The Miami Herald (http://hrld.us/1egbBmk) reports the company has applied to the United States Department of Transportation for a certificate of public convenience and necessity. It plans soon to start its required certification with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Eastern Airlines had headquarters in Miami until 1991, when it went out of business.

The new company is careful to point out that it is not affiliated with the former Eastern. But it bears the branding of the defunct company because it acquired Eastern's intellectual property several years ago.

Spokeswoman Maria Schnabel says the plan is to launch later this year after approvals are granted. She said the airline will initially fly charter service for tour operators.

On its website, the company said it has moved into headquarters at Miami International Airport's Building 5 A. That's the former Eastern Operations Center.

The Eastern Airlines name was synonymous with MIA and the Miami community for more than 70 years, so it's certainly exciting to see that this local icon is making a comeback," said Miami-Dade Aviation Director Emilio Gonzalez. " We look forward to welcoming Eastern back to its historic home in the near future."

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