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Pan American World Airways

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.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Pan Am's resurrection
3 Other facts of interest
4 External link


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 the 1980's. After Pan Am Flight 103 crashed in 1988, the airline finally began to unravel, and it folded in December of 1991.

Pan Am's European routes were sold to Delta Airlines, 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