EASTERN TO IMPORT FISH FROM S. AMERICA

EASTERN TO IMPORT FISH FROM S. AMERICA

Eastern Airlines is getting into the fresh fish business at retail.

Within the next two months, Miami-based Eastern will import from Ecuador a pre-packaged five-pound, fresh fish sampler. In addition, the airline also may get fish from nearby Peru.It's not a smelly business, said Jerry Schorr, Eastern's vice president, cargo sales.

While most airlines serving Latin American haul large volumes of fresh fish and occasionally do some related market development, most don't get involved directly in fish importing or retailing.

The Eastern sampler - to feature one pound servings of mahi mahi, grouper, red snapper, shrimp and swordfish - will be cheaper than if purchased from local supermarkets, Mr. Schorr said here last week at the 14th International Forum for Air Cargo.

If successful, Eastern will consider expanding and marketing fish in other cities where it has frequent service.

Air Cargo Inc., a large Annapolis, Md.-based trucking operation owned jointly by a number U.S. airlines, will provide ground handling.

Fresh fish is a large export for most Latin American countries with large coastlines.