Eastern Airlines appoints Duggan as it reveals freighter ambitions

By Damian Brett

US carrier Eastern Airlines has appointed Mike Duggan as director of international cargo business development as it prepares to expand into freighter operations.

The Pennsylvania-based airline and lessor currently operates a mix of eight B767-200/300 passenger aircraft but – although no time line was revealed – it also plans to add  converted B767 freighters and potentially B777Fs.

Duggan will initially be responsible for Eastern’s efforts to develop and optmise its passenger aircraft belly cargo sales and will also be responsible for leading and supporting the introduction of its new freighter aircraft.

The role will involve business development, project managing wetlease/customer interaction with a selection of express and e-commerce related operators in the US, Europe & potentially Asia-pacific.

“Mike is very well known across the air cargo world having worked for key industry leading organisations such as Emirates (SkyCargo), Southern Air, HAE Group, Saudia Cargo as well as DHL Worldwide Express in his early career,” the carrier said.

“Mike’s career has been involved with air cargo operations globally, especially working on freighter programme development, wet-leasing and chartering of wide-body freighter aircraft such as B747F and B777F.”

More recently, Duggan has been working with shippers in the automotive and pharmaceutical sectors such as Daimler Benz, with Singapore-based freighter forwarder TVS Asianics.

He will work from London pending the operational start-up of freighter operations, as well as relaxation of international business travel restrictions.

Eastern’s first B777, a passenger B777-200ER, will enter in to service in late 2020 or early 2021 to be utilised on scheduled passenger services primarily to Central & South America, with forthcoming expansion to China and Europe, as well as charter operations on behalf of the likes of US DOD to Europe and Middle East.

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