NEW YORK (AP) - Now that his $464 million deal with Peter V.
Ueberroth has collapsed, Eastern Airlines boss Frank Lorenzo said
Thursday he is turning his attention to his plan to reorganize
Eastern as a much smaller airline.
``We've had our deal. We've looked at the sale alternatives,''
Lorenzo said in a speech at the University Club in Manhattan.
Under his new plan, strikebound Eastern ``will be a lot
smaller,'' said Lorenzo, the chairman of Eastern's parent Texas Air
Corp. However, he asserted, ``We are not going to have any difficulty
over time building back.''
At a separate speaking engagement a few blocks away, Ueberroth
said in response to a question on the Eastern situation, ``We're out
of there, for sure.''
The former baseball commissioner said he had not been in touch
with any of the parties involved, including Lorenzo, Texas Air and
bankruptcy court officials. He would not try to get in touch with
them and did not expect to hear from them, Ueberroth told a reporter
after his speech on sports issues.
The statements by Ueberroth and Lorenzo came the day after they
announced their deal had fallen apart, thwarting efforts to restore
sickly Eastern to a full flying schedule.
The announcements Wednesday came after tumultuous negotiations
between Ueberroth aides and Texas Air reached an impasse at federal
bankruptcy court in Manhattan.
The judge overseeing the case moved immediately to attract other
``Our agreement with Texas Air is terminated, it's finished,
it's over,'' Ueberroth told reporters.
The ex-baseball commissioner, who had described the Eastern deal
as an historic opportunity for business-labor cooperation when it
was announced April 6, said his investor group did not plan to make
a new offer.
But Charles Bryan, head of Eastern's Machinists union, said in
several television interviews Thursday he thought Ueberroth was
still in the picture. ``Peter Ueberroth has said (it's over) a couple
of times in the past during these negotiations.''
Bryan said Ueberroth ``could very well come back'' with another
offer despite remarks to the contrary.
Ueberroth's dramatic entry as a bidder for Eastern and
just-as-dramatic departure injected new uncertainty into prospects
for an airline that has been largely idled and losing millions of
dollars since its employees struck March 4.
His withdrawal doused hopes among many strikers Wednesday that a
strong new leader had emerged to take control of an airline they
claim has been butchered by Texas Air chairman Frank Lorenzo since
he bought it three years ago. …