Trump is taking credit for the safest year in air travel. His own airline didn’t do so well

FILE 1988/Associated Press

Donald Trump shook hands with Eastern Airlines owner Frank Lorenzo after announcing Trump had agreed to buy Eastern’s shuttle fleet.

By Brian J. White Globe Staff 

President Trump took little time to claim credit Tuesday for reports that 2017 was the safest year ever for commercial jet air travel, but the president’s personal history with the airline business — and airline safety — is somewhat less rosy.

“Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news - it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning, following reports Monday that there were zero deaths aboard commercial jet flights worldwide, and only 111 accidents and 13 deaths when including propeller and cargo planes.


But, as detailed in a Globe story in 2016, Trump’s own foray into the airline business in 1989 had a “short, rocky life.”

The future president launched Trump Shuttle that summer with a series of false claims about rival Pan Am’s finances and safety record. Three months later, the nose gear on a Trump Shuttle flight failed, and the jet crash-landed at Boston’s Logan International Airport.

Trump Shuttle lasted only three years. As the Globe’s Matt Viser reported, Trump “was brought low by a series of missteps and a softening economy. His lack of expertise in East Coast skies took a toll, and he was forced to give up the airline.”