MIAMI — US President Donald Trump’s nominee to be Secretary of the Army, Vincent Viola, is planning to sell his majority shareholding in Eastern Air Lines. The New York Times has reported.
Viola is owner of Virtu Financial, Inc., a company that holds interests in Delaware-based Eastern Investments, LLC., and which in turn controls 60% of Eastern Air Lines.
Based in Miami, Eastern Air Lines was formed to re–launch the iconic carrier as a passenger airline, using a mixed Boeing 737-700/800 fleet from its base at Miami International Airport. The carrier has orders for ten 737 MAX aircraft and 20 Mitsubishi MRJ-90 aircraft.
Eastern’s headquarters is located in Building 5A at MIA. The building used to house the system and maintenance control centers of the original airline.
To date, the airline operates charters to the Caribbean and Latin America, including Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Costa Rica, Panama, Guyana and Haiti.
According to The New York Times report, Viola’s selling decision is likely linked to avoid a potential conflict of interests, should he be confirmed by the U.S. Senate to join Trump’s cabinet.
Viola is reportedly trying to swap his stake in Eastern Air Lines for a smaller stake in Phoenix-based Swift Air, a passenger charter operator.