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  Wikipedia: Pan American World Airways

Wikipedia: Pan American World Airways
Pan American World Airways
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.


Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) was at one time the principal international US-based airline. The Lockerbie disaster in 1988 exacerbated the company's financial problems, which forced it to sell off many of its aircraft and international routes to its competitors. The company finally collapsed in 1991 (operations were ended on December 4). An attempt was made to revive the company in the late 1990s, but the new Pan Am ultimately ended up facing bankruptcy again and the name was sold in 1998. The current owners of the Pan Am brand operate a small number of flights within the continental United States.

History

Pan Am was founded by aviator Juan Trippe in 1927 as a seaplane service from Key West, Florida to Havana, Cuba. During the late 1920's and early 1930's, Trippe purchased a number of ailing or defunct airlines in Central and South America. He began air mail flights from Florida to Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1930.

During the 1930's, Pan Am began service from the West Coast to Honolulu, and from there to Hong Kong and Auckland.

After World War II, Pan Am lost its distinction as the United States' official international airline (first to American Overseas Airways, and later to TWA and Northwest Orient). With competition on many of its routes, it began investing in new innovations such as jet aircraft (the Boeing 707), widebody aircraft (the Boeing 747), and even supersonic aircraft (as a launch customer for the Concorde).

In 1980, with airline deregulation well underway, Pan Am acquired National Airlines in an attempt to build up its U.S. domestic network. However, its increasingly deteriorating financial position led it to sell most of its Pacific routes to United Airlines in 1985. After Pan Am Flight 103 crashed in 1988, the airline finally began to unravel. In March 1991, it sold off its profitable London Heathrow routes (arguably Pan Am's most major international destination), again to United Airlines. In August of that year, Delta Airlines purchased the remaining profitable assets of Pan Am, including its remaining European routes, and injected some cash into a smaller Pan Am predominately serving the Carribean and Latin America.

Pan Am continued to incur heavy losses and only survived until December 1991, when Delta refused to inject any more cash into the company. The airline's Miami terminal and its Latin American routes were sold to American Airlines.

Pan Am's resurrection

Guilford Transportation Industries purchased the rights to the Pan American brand after the original carrier declared bankruptcy. In 1996, Guilford launched a new Pan Am, but it only survived for one year before ceasing operations.

In 1998, Pan Am was launched again with a fleet of seven Boeing 727's, flying to nine cities in New England, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Pan Am has cooperative service arrangements with Boston Maine Airways.

Other facts of interest

External link


  

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 
Modified by Geona