Trump started an airline, Trump Shuttle, in 1988, but it reportedly went under after 2 years in business

By Madison Roberts
April 15, 2019 12:59 PM

Donald Trump has some advice for Boeing after two of their 737 Max 8 planes were involved in deadly crashes within five months.

The president, who called for all 737 Max planes in the U.S. to be grounded in March, tweeted that he thinks Boeing should fix the plane’s image issues by renaming and rebranding it.

“What do I know about branding, maybe nothing (but I did become President!), but if I were Boeing, I would FIX the Boeing 737 MAX, add some additional great features, & REBRAND the plane with a new name,” Trump wrote in a tweet on Monday. “No product has suffered like this one. But again, what the hell do I know?”

The former Apprentice host has a long history of branding businesses such as his famous hotels and casinos.

He even once made a foray into the world of air travel, launching Trump Shuttle in 1988 after taking out a $245 million loan to purchase several plane, Rolling Stone reports. For two years, the real estate mogul flew commuter planes featuring amenities like gold bathrooms between New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston. According to the publication, he surrendered ownership of Trump Shuttle to creditors in 1990 after he wasn’t making enough money.

Trump also once attempted to launch a travel booking site similar to Travelocity called, which was dedicated to “the art of the travel deal.” The idea behind the site was that people could find the best deals for flights and hotels for their next vacation. According to Rolling Stone, the site closed down in 2007. However, throughout his presidential campaign, the URL redirected to his campaign website. It now directs to an error page.

Monday is not the first time Trump has offered his commentary on the 737 MAX planes. Following the fatal Ethiopian Airlines crash in March, the president tweeted that he feels planes are becoming “too complex to fly.”

“Pilots are no longer needed, but rather computer scientists from MIT,” he wrote. “I see it all the time in many products. Always seeking to go one unnecessary step further, when often old and simpler is far better.”

A few days later, he called for the grounding of all Boeing 737 MAX planes in the U.S. despite Boeing and the FAA’s earlier statements of confidence in the aircraft.

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“The FAA is preparing to make an announcement very shortly regarding the new information and physical evidence that we’ve received from the [Ethiopia crash site] and from other locations and through a couple of other complaints,” Trump said. “We’ve had a very, very detailed group of people working on the 737 8 and the 737 9 new airplanes. We’re going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 MAX 8 and the 737 MAX 9 and planes associated with that line.

Trump stated that he had met Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, Acting Administrator of the FAA Dan Elwell and Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg, regarding the decision and all were in agreement to ground the planes.

An Ethiopian Airlines flight operating the Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed shortly after takeoff on March 10, killing all 157 passengers on board. It was the second fatal crash involving this aircraft model in five months. In October, a Lion Air flight went down off the coast of Indonesia under similar circumstances, resulting in the deaths of 189 people. Both incidents are still under investigation.