Eastern Airlines selects Kansas City for new headquarters, investing more than $4.7 million and creating 165 new jobs

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Eastern Airlines selects Kansas City for new headquarters, investing more than $4.7 million and creating 165 new jobs

February 21, 2024

Kansas City, Mo. — Eastern Airlines, a domestic and international cargo airline, announced today that it has selected Kansas City as the location of its new headquarters, investing more than $4.7 million and creating 165 new jobs. The company’s strategic move marks a significant milestone in its commitment to growth, innovation, and expanding its presence in the Midwest.

“We applaud Eastern Airlines’ decision to relocate to Kansas City and look forward to its growth in the area,” said Governor Mike Parson. “Our state’s advantages, including a strategic central location, low costs, and skilled workforce, continue to result in investments from leading companies. Eastern Airlines’ new headquarters is a complement to Kansas City’s new airport terminal and another example of our state’s ability to attract businesses that are creating new opportunities for Missourians.”

Eastern Airlines has had a presence in Kansas City since 2021, when it purchased Alta Aero Technic, a maintenance, repair, and overhaul facility, and formed Foxtrot Aero, a passenger-to-freighter design company. The company’s move of its headquarters will now consolidate all its operations to Kansas City.

“Eastern Air Holdings has had a great experience operating two other businesses at MCI, Alta Aero Technic and Foxtrot,” said Stephen Buscher, Eastern Airlines Chief Financial Officer. “Kansas City and its airport have a great legacy in our industry. We did look at a number of cities to rebase our headquarters, but the enthusiasm of Missouri and the city combined with the generous assistance of the Missouri Works program made our decision easy. The new terminal and our experience proved that it is a metropolitan area investing in its future, and we are proud to be a part of the new airport community.”

New jobs added as part of Eastern Airline’s relocation include a variety of positions, such as maintenance professionals, pilots, and flight operations personnel, and will pay an average salary well above the county average.

“We’re proud to support Eastern Airlines as it establishes its headquarters in Kansas City,” said Michelle Hataway, Acting Director of the Department of Economic Development. “This company’s relocation is a testament to our state’s economic strengths and the collaborative efforts of our incredible partners who are helping Missourians prosper.”

Eastern Airlines will benefit from the Missouri Works program, a tool that helps companies expand and retain workers by providing access to capital through withholdings or tax credits for job creation. The company is also receiving assistance from Missouri One Start, a division of the Department of Economic Development. Missouri One Start assists eligible businesses with their recruitment and training needs.

What others are saying

“We’re thrilled to welcome Eastern Airlines,” said Steven Anthony, Vice President of Business Development at EDCKC. “With a rich history of aviation in Kansas City, Eastern Airlines is a welcomed addition to our expanding economy.”

“Kansas City is an ideal location for Eastern Airlines to establish its new headquarters, offering accessibility to the rest of the country and a strong network of community partners and resources,” said Jill McCarthy, Senior Vice President of Corporate Attraction at KCADC. “More and more, companies are choosing KC for their headquarters, and we’re excited to see Eastern Airlines join that growing list.”

About Eastern Airlines

Eastern Airlines has a rich history dating back to 1926 and has been a symbol of excellence in air travel for decades. As the airline industry continues to evolve, Eastern is taking proactive steps to position itself for the future while honoring its legacy. In mid-January 2024, Eastern announced its acquisition of Hillwood Airways and its fleet of passenger and cargo Boeing 737s, adding to its fleet of B767 and B777 aircraft. While Eastern Airlines is a certified 121 airline authorized to offer scheduled service (domestic and international), the company is focused on business-to-business charter operations, with a particular focus on U.S. government work, notably repositioning of troops for the Department of Defense domestically and internationally as a member of the Civil Reserve Air Fleet (CRAF), as well as other government agencies. At any given time, Eastern has 10-15 aircraft parked at its hangar facilities at MCI and is actively working to expand its fleet, with aspirations to grow its footprint over time in Kansas City.

To learn more about Eastern Airlines, visit iflyea.com.

About the Missouri Department of Economic Development

The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) works to create an environment that encourages economic growth by supporting Missouri’s businesses and diverse industries, strengthening our communities, developing a talented and skilled workforce, and maintaining a high quality of life. As one team built around the customer and driven by data, DED aspires to be the best economic development department in the Midwest. Through its various initiatives, DED is helping create opportunities for Missourians to prosper.

For the latest updates on DED’s current or future programs and initiatives, visit DED’s website.

About the Missouri Works Program

As the state’s number one incentive tool for expansion and retention, the Missouri Works Program helps businesses access capital through withholdings or tax credits to embark on facility expansions and create jobs. This program can also help businesses purchase equipment to maintain its facility in Missouri.

About Missouri One Start

Missouri One Start is the state’s premier workforce recruitment and training division. It helps eligible businesses of all sizes stay competitive by providing customized recruitment assistance, along with resources to train and upskill new and existing employees. Its recruitment strategies and training programs are tailored to the specific workforce needs of the businesses it serves.