Trump Pilot Couple Still Has ‘Kinship’ with Eastern With AM-Trump Shuttle, Bjt
NEW YORK (AP) _ Gary and Elizabeth Cannon say they don’t argue in the cockpit, which their friends jokingly warn them about, and they plan to continue flying together for Donald Trump’s new Northeast shuttle.
The two, both former Eastern Airlines pilots who signed with Trump late last year, are happy to be working again. They are among 170 Eastern pilots who now work for the casino-property billionaire.
″It’s a golden opportunity. Everyone is excited,″ said Elizabeth, a flight engineer celebrating her 27th birthday Thursday at the Trump Shuttle’s debut. She had been working for Eastern for only a year and a half when employees struck the Miami-based carrier on March 4.
For co-pilot husband Gary, 42, who had flown for Eastern for 10 years, the heady enthusiasm of the occasion was tempered with nostalgia.
″We’ll always have a kinship to Eastern,″ he told a reporter in the crowded Trump Shuttle terminal at New York’s LaGuardia Airport. ″That’s our roots. Eastern is a great group of people.″
Cannon said he was relieved, however, that the three-month ″emotional roller coaster″ of striking Eastern was over for the couple.
Trump, unlike Eastern boss Frank Lorenzo, isn’t in a ″confrontational position″ with employees, he said.
The couple are relocating from Dublin, Ohio, to New Jersey.
Other Trump Shuttle pilots, who had come from carriers other than Eastern, were less prone to looking back.
″The potential is so much greater here,″ said Peter Woermann, 43, comparing his new job favorably with his former employer Business Express, a regional airline based in Hartford, Conn. ″I think it’s a great opportunity.″
Don Thompson, 28, came to fly for Trump from Precision Airlines, a commuter line based in Manchester, N.H., which suspended all operations in March. Precision, one of the carriers which had fed into Eastern’s flights, furloughed 350 workers.