Eastern Airlines (2D, Miami Int'l) has announced it has secured the financing critical to its planned expansion of scheduled services.

"On December 16, 2019, Eastern closed on a USD25 million loan creating a working capital balance as of December 16, 2019, of USD12.4 million, thus satisfying the Department's three-month financial fitness test," the airline said in a US Department of Transportation (DOT) filing in which it sought permission to increase the number of aircraft in its fleet operating scheduled flights from one to three.

Also, Eastern's majority shareholder, Ken Wooley, committed to injecting up to USD20 million in additional capital, if needed.

"I am prepared to commit to loan or invest up to an additional USD20 million to cover any operating expenses of the airline as needed as it enters and grows its scheduled service network," he said.

Wooley has already contributed aircraft and engines worth approximately USD50 million to Eastern as well as USD25 million in cash.

Eastern launched its first scheduled service, from New York JFK to Guayaquil, Ecuador, on January 12, 2020, with plans to add another route to Georgetown Cheddi Jagan, Guyana on March 5 and to San José Cabo in Mexico on March 8. It also intends to increase the frequency of flights to Guayaquil to twice weekly in March 2020.

The airline underlined that it needs the three aircraft to operate scheduled routes as of early March 2020. Aside from scheduled flights, it expects to continue offering charter flights (including for the United States Department of Defence) as well as ACMI services.

US Federal Aviation Administration records show that Eastern's active fleet of one B767-200, three-ERs, and four B767-300(ER)s have all been authorized to conduct Part 121 (i.e. scheduled) operations.