What Happened To Donald Trump’s $365 Million Airline?

What Happened To Donald Trump’s $365 Million Airline?

– You look great. Trump: Everybody have it? Narrator: Things used to be a lot different for Donald Trump. – Mr. Trump, who’s your
lovely date tonight? This is Melissa. – Hi. Narrator: In the 1980s… Donald Trump was a star. – His name sells. And when you think
business, you think Trump. My son, he’s 22 years old,
and Mr. Trump is his hero. We’re from Oregon, and Donald
Trump is popular out there. He’s my idol. I really respect him,
and I think he’s amazing. Everything he does
seems to turn into gold. Narrator: By 1988, Trump was
a major name in real estate. The New York Times called him one of the richest men in the world, with an estimated net worth of $3 billion. And he bought the luxurious
Plaza Hotel for $390 million. For Donald Trump, the next logical step was buying an airline. – Yo, Joe! – The Trump Organization
was a holding company with various assets. Those assets included
hotels, apartment buildings, and other real estate assets. Narrator: That’s Henry Harteveldt. Donald Trump hired him
as the marketing director for Trump Shuttle. – Mr. Trump thought that having an airline would complement his other
travel-related holdings, and that’s why he was interested in it. – You can fly clear across the USA. Narrator: In the 1980s, air travel was a completely different ball game, especially if you were
flying for business. – The Eastern Air Shuttle, a guaranteed seat without a reservation. Narrator: Shuttle services
from airlines like Pan Am and Eastern offered
flights between New York, Boston, and Washington
that took off every hour. In 1988, a workers’ strike at Eastern drove the airline to a halt. – There was an open
auction for the shuttle. Several different airlines submitted bids. At the end, it became
the Trump Organization and America West, and the
Trump Organization prevailed. Narrator: Trump secured $365
million from a consortium of banks to make a bid
for the Eastern Shuttle. After a meeting with
airline owner Frank Lorenzo at Trump’s Plaza Hotel, the deal was done, and Trump Shuttle was born. – How you doing? Have a good flight. Narrator: Trump Shuttle’s fleet consisted of 21 Boeing 727s. Trump spent $1 million
to refurbish each plane. – We were the first
plane out this morning. We were the most successful
flight this morning. We had more people than anybody else, and I think we had better
service than anybody else. Narrator: Trump Shuttle
offered quick flights between three east coast
destinations: Logan Airport in Boston, LaGuardia in New
York, and Reagan in D.C. – The first week or so was really disorganized because, you know, it was a brand new airline. And the pilots just
got it all figured out. It was 64 flights a day
between three cities, and, you know, it ran like clockwork. Narrator: Trump’s purchase
of the Eastern Shuttle created over 1,000 new jobs,
many of which were filled by Eastern employees out
of work due to the strike. Employees like Rosemary
Durant, a Boston-based flight attendant who got
a job with Trump Shuttle. – I was a flight attendant
with Trump Shuttle from the beginning to the end. I began my career with Eastern Airlines. Towards the end of Eastern Airlines we had the opportunity to bid off to work for the Trump Shuttle. It was strictly a lottery system. It was an opportunity to continue flying, continue getting a paycheck. I had a place to go. I had a job that I loved. I got to continue working. He saved us. – We’re gonna really be a good competitor, and I think it’s gonna be a lot of fun. Harteveldt: So the primary
competitor that we flew against was Pan Am, Pan Am Shuttle,
and a very, very fine competitor to have,
because Pan Am forced us to bring our A game to the shuttle market. Narrator: In true Trump fashion, he soon went after his competition. – I love competing against Pan Am. If you’ve got to compete, I mean, if you’ve got to compete, Pan Am is the one you
want to compete against. Narrator: Trump didn’t just troll Pan Am at press conferences. He also poached their talent, hiring former Pan Am Shuttle president Bruce Nobles, to run Trump Shuttle. – Safety, everyone says, “Oh,
don’t ever mention safety.” I want to mention safety. To me, it’s very important. The safety is number one priority. – There is an unwritten rule
in the airline business: you never attack another
carrier’s maintenance and safety. Mr. Trump attacked Pan Am’s maintenance, and that’s just something you don’t do. Narrator: Trump suggested that Pan Am’s financial struggles might
jeopardize the airline’s safety, and his remarks soon
came back to bite him. – And this represents one of the fleet of your new shuttle
service from here to where? Watch this, Don. Whoa, my God, whoa! Narrator: In August of 1989 … a Trump Shuttle flight made
an emergency landing in Boston when the plane’s front
landing gear malfunctioned. No one on-board was hurt,
but Trump Shuttle’s trouble was just beginning. – Smoke rising from the barracks where the Royal Guard still hold out. Narrator: The invasion of Kuwait in 1990 and the subsequent Gulf War
sent oil prices skyrocketing, and the United States was
on the brink of a recession. – That affected all airlines,
not just the Trump Shuttle. People just were not flying. As far as the Trump
Shuttle became concerned, the bankers said, “Hey, look,” “this is not financially sustainable.” It became clear that the Trump Shuttle would not grow as an airline. Narrator: Trump fired 100 employees. Just 18 months after the
Trump Shuttle launched, the airline had already lost $128 million. In 1992, Donald Trump
decided it was time to bail. Trump Shuttle’s majority
stakeholder, Citigroup, started negotiating a sale with US Air, who still saw value in the product. Donald Trump claimed he didn’t
lose money on the shuttle. He told the Boston Globe, “I’m smart.” “I got out at a good time.” – It seems like he kind of
just washed his hands of it, said the airline business is very tough, and moved on to whatever was next. Narrator: As for Trump Shuttle employees, many of them kept their
jobs and transitioned to becoming employees of the
newly-named US Air Shuttle. – [David Manley] It
really wasn’t a failure. I think it was pretty successful. I mean, Trump saved our
careers, I mean, absolutely. They really took care of their employees. My wife, who had breast cancer, the CEO of the company,
he said, “Hey, any bills” “that aren’t covered,
just leave it on my desk.” I left some bills on those desks. It was like, I don’t know,
a $30,000 pharmacy bill. You know, that’s how I was treated, and so I’m sure that came down from Trump. I don’t have anything bad to say.

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About the Author: Oren Garnes


  1. trumps rise from diapers and social clubs,trump supporters are the least intelligent humans on Earth. like cheering on a spoiled rich kid beating up a disabled old lady for laughs and sick giggles.

  2. He should have stayed in real estate, it was a tough time for Airlines, and Pan Am was well rooted. He didn't fire those workers, he laid them off, big difference.

  3. Trump probably bought the airline to make it easier to traffic underage girls with epstein, making more money off pimping girls internationally than he did off the airline

  4. All of these people commenting and making fun of Trump remember he's still really rich and your still poor and living with your parents.


  6. LOL, none of the money lost was really his anyway, mostly investors, which he skims HIS money off of. This is how he gets his high end living style. NOW, the money is coming from the American taxpayer, lol.

  7. Wow the good ol days…geeze! 3 billion is all it took to be one of the richest in the WORLD?
    OREGON …? RESPECT him??!!
    Oh how the tomes have CHANGED!!

  8. trump wants to make America great again,
    way back before Civil Rights
    before he had to declare bankruptcy several times
    before he bought a failing airlines (and drove it into the ground)
    before he lost billions of his and OTHER people's money
    but it's not working out that way is it Donny?

  9. Who cares really let’s look into all of the fake news passed and all of the Dems they were all his friends

  10. Anybody that would buy a building the six six six of the address has to be Pure Evil. Evil things happen in Trump Tower.

  11. Trump is narcissistic, he always thinks everything he has is bigger than everyone elses. Trump is over extreme about how good he is and doing stuff. He knows deep down inside he is a loser and wants everyone to believe that he's a winner.

  12. It's none of your damn business what happened to Trump's airline … you loser who never had an airline … a better subject would be your intense jealousy and hatred of trump

  13. Oh Lord help me not to have hate in my heart since I have no hate for anyone else. But it's so mother trucking hard with such a douche bag, child predictor, sexist, racist, narcissist, ageist, liar, ignorant, and well so much more. How are so many intelligent Americans still finding any faith in him other than to fail so greatly and to never take responsibility for his actions.

  14. ”Donald Trump saved or jobs”
    ”Any bills that aren’t covered, just leave them on my desk. I left a 30k dollar pharmacy bill on the desk. I’m sure that came down from Trump. I don’t have anything bad to say.”

  15. Trump always rip people off that's how he got his money stealing from others he said its legal by law like filing bankrupt 6 times keeping everyone money sending thousands of familys in proverty he destroy the sand domes saying he was going to build a golf course then left it destroyed killing the tourist industry…an he a billionaire filing bankrupt 6 times an not have to pay his bills keep his money how does that work? others lost everything

  16. You disappoint a lot of people. It appears that this was another site bashing Trump. But you say good things about the guy?!? You must be Russian.

  17. I just love how the angry anti-Trump trollers spend all their time chasing his support and achievements. They must have a really miserable life. Go Trump!!! 2020 all the way! KAG!!!!

  18. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3&v=AUDr_c2PalI&fbclid=IwAR1OaT2tOCd-ov3do2oH48AmbW4dnX5QJqQXkC5-Y-kk4tjTtGdcsbm4U4w

  19. Take a few hundred million on failed business throw in a few bankruptcies-well a bunch and then make profits here and there then cheat your taxes hide you money in off shore accounts fool the people into believing your the goat of entrepreneurs and real estate moguls then run for President…sounds more like an acting career than a business man

  20. Donald Trump the kid, he was raised super spoiled, he is detached from reality, I highly recommend an emergency removal of the president before our great american family and country, before we lose our most important standing on the fragile stage of this besieged planet.

  21. Interesting story, too bad the winds were against Trump's airline company, there was a great chance that it could've worked well.

  22. This is why the news media and programs like this are called fake news the New York Times stated that Trump was one of the richest guys in the world LMAO

    The Rothschilds and the Rockefellers alone make Trump look like a homeless guy there is well over a hundred and sixty people that has way more money than Trump

  23. Seems like attacking people has been trumps way of making people look stupid and not him… until he fucks up then the tables turn. Learn your lesson your first time kids!

  24. I'll probably get blasted over this, but all that money doesn't help him from aging or not being attractive. My opinion.

  25. And NOW, he is President Trump and will be for four more years! Only nut case socialists running against him!, they are trying to make America like Venezuela. We cant have that!

  26. My dad liked to tell me the story of the time he was on a Trump flight from D.C. to Boston. He was seated next to, apparently, one of the wealthiest chicks in America. Even though he was at least 15 years younger, he made a "modest" play for her ONLY to find out that she wanted to set him up with her daughter! My Dad, not being the cock artist I am, begrudgingly accepted, and claimed the daughter was shitte. He said he deeply regretted not having a go at the mom. This was in the 80s.

  27. The employees had nothing but good to say about him. He saved their careers, paid some of their huge medical bills , and transferred them on to the next new owner as well — according to them. That's commendable.

  28. In my opinion, Lorenzo was a complete idiot. He new nothing about owning a airline. He drove it to the ground. RIP Eastern.

  29. No surprise here…. yet ANOTHER business FAILURE by Trump….

    Trump Shuttle clearly was heading towards what would now total to SEVEN total BANKRUPTCIES for Trump. except he managed to sell the failing company to US Air for pennies on the dollar, just before another bankruptcy happened to him back then.

  30. Damn I wonder did that include the now Russkie corrupted D bank you know the one that kept lending trump all that money !!!?

  31. Who's going to save us after this failed venture? never mind , Potus just just proclaimed himself "The Chosen One". That fixes everything.

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