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Trump Shuttle By Trump Haven

Image By Eric Friedebach

Trump Shuttle Airlines

Trump Shuttle Inc. would mark a short but never the less important chapter of the business career of Donald J. Trump. Trump at this time was pivoting from traditional real estate development into associated sectors of the hotel and entertainment industry when the opportunity would arise to enter the world of aviation. Trump saw initial success with the vision to turn a no frills, budget airline and transform it to a luxury, high end air shuttle.

During the late 1980s the airline industry in the United States was in turmoil with many airlines suffering from financial and operational difficulties. This would be the backdrop for Donald Trump’s formal entry into the airline business in 1989.Trump acquired Eastern Air Shuttle, a subsidiary of Eastern Airlines, for a reported sum of $365 million after discussions with Eastern Airlines President Frank Lorenzo. The year prior in 1988 Trump had acquired three Skiorsky S-61 helicopters comprising of the Trump Air sector of Trump Shuttle. The distinctive black helicopters with signature Trump branding were used to shuttle upscale clients to the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The Trump Shuttle fleet would consist of eight Boeing 727-100 and seventeen Boeings 727 -200 aircrafts. The aircrafts received extensive refurbishments featuring plush leather seats, accompanied by maple wood veneer trimmings and chrome seat belt latches along with gold plated lavatory fixtures. The cabins exuded an air of exclusivity featuring an elegant navy blue and gold colour scheme, echoing Trump's personal brand of extravagance. Nearly two million dollars were spent on undertaking the refurbishments along with additional safety enhancements to the aircrafts. Trump Shuttles maiden flight was on Jun 8, 1989 where a lavish ceremony with entertainment and champagne was offer, emphasizing the opulence of Trump Shuttle.

Under Trump's ownership, the Trump Shuttle sought to redefine the standard of service in the airline industry. Flight attendants donned designer uniforms, and passengers were treated to complimentary champagne and a selection of gourmet snacks. Trump’s vision was being realized and by August 1989 Trump Shuttle had gained over 40% of the market share in the aviation sector. Trump even introduced a limousine service to transport passengers between the airline's terminals in New York, Washington D.C., and Boston, further elevating the experience.

During the early 1990’s the United States experienced an economic recession that saw a downturn in discretionary spending were domestic travel was drastically affected. The Gulf War of 1990 saw a surge in fuel prices, further hampering operating conditions across of the aviation industry. In April 1992 Trump Shuttle was sold to US Airways as Trump Shuttle became unviable due to unfavourable market conditions.

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