Eastern Air Lines Logo

Eastern Air Lines LogoEastern Air Lines Logo PNG

The logo of Eastern Air Lines, once America’s largest airline until its dissolution in 1991, embodied the company’s pioneering spirit and significant historical impact on U.S. aviation. It represented the company’s role as a trailblazer in air transportation, especially along the East Coast, and illustrated its foundational contributions to making air travel more accessible and frequent for the American public. The emblem became a symbol of trust and reliability, reflecting decades of operation that helped connect various regions of the U.S., facilitating business and tourist travel.

Eastern Air Lines: Brand overview

Founded by Eddie Rickenbacker, Eastern Air Lines took to the air in 1926 and quickly became successful.

In the 1930s, Eastern Air Lines rose to new heights, becoming one of the respected domestic airlines of the Big Four. Along with American Airlines, United Airlines, Transcontinental, and Western Air (TWA), Eastern had a near monopoly on air service between New York and Florida, a favorite vacation destination. This era of dominance in the skies lasted for several decades, from the 1930s through the 1950s.

In the 1960s, the airline began transitioning from propeller-driven airplanes to jets, which gave it a competitive edge despite changing regulations and technology.

Eastern Air Lines experienced turbulent years in the 1970s and 1980s, but the company remained a prominent force in the industry. Its invaluable contributions to Atlanta as a major hub and extensive network expanded to many international destinations.

By the late 1980s, Eastern Airlines was on the verge of collapse, plagued by labor strikes and years of mismanagement.

On January 18, 1991, the skies turned dark as Eastern Air Lines, the legendary American airline company, officially closed its doors and filed for bankruptcy.

After two decades of downtime, Eastern Air Lines triumphantly returned to the skies in 2015. The revitalized charter airline with a new mission offered flights from Miami International Airport to exciting destinations, including Havana.

Unfortunately, Eastern Air Lines’ revival came to an abrupt end. In September 2017, the beloved airline operated its last flight and closed its doors for the last time.

Meaning and History

Eastern Air Lines Logo History

What is Eastern Airlines?

Founded in 1926, Eastern Air Lines became America’s largest airline. The company went from a regional mail carrier to one of the “Big Four” domestic airlines. Its hub was Miami International Airport, and it was headquartered in an unincorporated area of Miami-Dade County, Florida. Eastern dominated air service between New York and Florida from the 1930s through the 1950s and dominated that market for decades. The airline continued to fly successfully until 1991 when it was disbanded.

1926 – 1930

Pitcairn Aviation Logo 1926

Between 1926 and 1930, Eastern Air Lines adopted its first official logo, the “Winged Arrow.” This symbol conveyed key brand attributes: speed, purposefulness, and the ambition to be among the top ten airlines for passenger service quality. The lower part of the design, resembling an airplane fuselage with windows, effectively linked the logo to aviation themes, highlighting the company’s focus on air transport. The company deliberately avoided additional text on the logo, prioritizing recognizability and clarity in its visual message. The central theme of the logo was speed: by choosing an airplane with a symbolic arrow, passengers could feel confident about reaching their destinations quickly and comfortably.

1930 – 1934

Eastern Air Transport Logo 1930

In the 1930s, Eastern Air Lines focused on developing its brand and enhancing market recognition. During this period, the airline was part of the so-called “Big Four,” a significant achievement that motivated further efforts to improve its image. New elements were added to the corporate style as part of these efforts. For instance, the arrow symbol was complemented with an oval orange background, which served an aesthetic function, emphasizing harmony and comfort in flights and carrying a specific meaning.

The choice of orange for the logo’s background was deliberate. Orange symbolizes a sunny and welcoming atmosphere and is directly associated with the flag of New York. This was significant as Eastern operated monopoly flights from New York to Florida, allowing passengers to travel to the warm state for vacation.

In the logo’s center, the company name—Eastern Air Transport—was prominently displayed, underscoring its primary activity of transporting passengers along the East Coast of the USA. Before being renamed to Eastern Air Lines, the company was known as Pitcairn Aviation, and this name change reflected the expansion and strengthening of the brand. Under the company name in the logo were the names of cities served by Eastern, further informing customers about the airline’s flight geography.

1934 – 1964

Eastern Air Lines Logo 1934

In 1934, a significant event occurred in the airline’s history: it officially changed its name to Eastern Air Lines. This change was accompanied by a revision of the corporate logo, which was updated to reflect the company’s ambitions and values. The new logo included modified shades to emphasize the company’s patriotic spirit. The round background, symbolizing a seal of quality and a medal of leadership, along with the sun, highlighted the harmony and excellence of the services provided.

The logo’s color composition—light blue and dark blue—recalled the transition from day to night, as well as water and sky, symbolically representing the ability to fly at any time and navigate air routes over the blue ocean. This design element aimed to showcase the flexibility and extensive reach of the company’s route network.

At the center of the logo was a red bird, associated with Eastern as the American eagle—the nation’s primary symbol. This bird, depicted as soaring above all and ruling the skies, resembles a seagull inhabiting the Florida coast, adding local flair to the company’s image. The wings raised upward reminded me of the swiftness embedded in the brand’s concept, similar to the previous symbol—the arrow.

The white lettering of the company name added lightness and airiness to the image. In contrast, a white border around all emblem elements enhanced the sense of integrity and high quality. The updated Eastern Air Lines logo represented the image of a pioneering and leading company in aviation transport, proud of its role in providing fast and reliable flights for America.

1964 – 1991

Eastern Air Lines Logo 1964

2015 – 2017

Eastern Air Lines Logo

The Eastern Air Lines emblem consists of two white stripes in a blue circle. In this case, the circle represents the sky, and the inner geometric shapes form a stylized bird or airplane with an upward-pointing wing. To the right is the word “EASTERN,” which is the same bright blue color and consists of bold letters with serifs. Their elongated shape creates the illusion of movement, implying the company’s constant growth and fast customer service, as well as the high speed of the airplanes.

The bright blue color of the circle and the company name attract attention and signify reliability and trustworthiness. White stripes forming a stylized bird or plane indicate cleanliness and high standards – qualities inherent in a solid airline. The bold sans-serif font for the word “EASTERN” speaks of modernity and professionalism, emphasizing the brand’s commitment to quality service. The illusion of movement created by the elongated letters subtly conveys that the airline is always on the move, increasing efficiency and customer satisfaction.