Real estate magnate Donald Trump said today that he is no longer willing to pay $365 million for the Eastern Airlines shuttle, citing the labor problems that have largely grounded the financially troubled air carrier.
In a letter to Frank Lorenzo, head of Eastern’s parent company Texas Air, Trump said, “The shuttle has become an entirely different business in that its market share and customer base may be lost for some time to come, if not forever.”
“Today the business is worth considerably less than the price negotiated last fall,” Trump said.
The New York billionaire financier had announced last October that he would purchase the moneymaking operation for $365 million in cash and name it after himself.
However, the strike by Eastern’s machinists union members, chiefly mechanics and baggage handlers, and the unwillingness of most of the airline’s pilots to cross their picket lines has forced Eastern to file for bankruptcy.