Mike Pence’s Vice Presidential Campaign Plane is an Eastern Airlines 737

Donald Trump flies mostly in his private Boeing 757 (which the campaign rents from the candidate). For short hops to small cities he also has a Cessna that required some administrative sleight of hand to keep legal.

His running mate, Governor Mike Pence of Indiana, will be flying a charted Eastern Airlines Boeing 737-700 registration N278EA.

Source: Eastern Airlines

Eastern is a small Miami-based charter carrier, focused on flights to Cuba and the Caribbean, whose strangest asset is its name — that of the major US airline founded in 1926, headed by World War I pilot Captain Eddie Rickenbacker and later by astronaut Frank Borman before being acquired by Frank Lorenzo. The airline was shut down amidst financial and labor struggles in 1991.

The ‘new Eastern Airlines’ has four Boeing 737-800s, and just a single 737-700, outfitted in an all business class (64 seats) configuration. Since the 737-700 is what Governor Pence will be flying, it’s easy to trace the provenance of that particular aircraft.

In fact only days earlier the plane was decorated with Star Trek Beyond livery.

Source: Eastern Airlines

The plane was originally delivered in 1998 and operated by Danish airline Maersk Air and Danish carrier Sterling Airlines in 148 seat all-coach configuration before it was flown by Russia’s Moskovia Airlines.

Vice Presidential candidates usually get lesser planes than the candidate at the top of the ticket. For instance,

  • Mitt Romney flew an MD83 that had previously been chartered by the band U2. While Paul Ryan flew in a 1970 DC-9.

  • John McCain flew a Boeing 737 while Sarah Palin was stuck in a regional jet (a JetBlue Embraer ERJ-190).

With an all business class 737, Pence is doing better than his recent Republican predecessors (in terms of comfort, at least).

(HT: Dan R.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Gary – I believe McCain’s 2008 plane was a JetBlue Airbus 320 (and Palin’s was one of their E190s). Maybe he used a 737 in his 2000 run. It is also worth noting that John Kerry had a 757 in ’04 and President Obama used a 757 in his 2008 run when he was still Sen. Obama.

  2. I believe I flew this plane earlier this year on an Eastern charter to Havana from Miami. At the time the livery was for the Florida Panthers hockey team (I believe it was the plane the team chartered for away games).
    FWIW, it was a nice plane with comfortable seats.

  3. it’s hard to believe that airlines/companies repaint these planes that frequently…. Any idea of the cost?

  4. I wonder, how the painters can repaint a plane that quickly? I would guess a self adhesive plastic but that probably wouldn’t be safe enough. So, just paint?

  5. How interesting that the Trump campaign is using a plane from an airline most famous for filing bankruptcy and laying off all of it’s employees. It’s also interesting the plane has Russian connections just like members of the Trump campaign staff.

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