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How Big Was Pan Am?  
User currently offlineTonytifao From Brazil, joined Mar 2005, 1036 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 11629 times:

Before PanAm went down, how big were they compared to United, AA and Delta? In terms of fleet size, passengers carried and number of cities served.

I remember I flew GIG-JFK a couple of times between 2-8  Smile

Thanks,
Tony

73 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline777captain From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 12 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11589 times:

Here's a good site for you.

http://www.airchive.com/SITE%20PAGES/TIMETABLES-PAN%20AM.html


User currently offlineDsa From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11587 times:

From Wikipedia:

Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal international airline of the United States from the 1930s until its collapse in 1991.

Probably not as big as the legacy acrriers now but it was pretty big for its day and was trully international in scope.

DSA


User currently offlineJFK787NYC From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 812 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11522 times:

How come PANAM couldnt get out of Bankruptcy like Delta, US, United?

I think someone should bring this airline back in a really big why


User currently offlineTonytifao From Brazil, joined Mar 2005, 1036 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11511 times:

I'm flying to BWI weekly and I keep seeing this PanAm little airplane. Do they still exist as a small airline?

User currently offlineXJETFlyer From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 327 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11463 times:

http://www.flypanam.com/

That's what I just found. CHeck it out.


User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 26021 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11438 times:

Quoting Tonytifao (Reply 4):
I'm flying to BWI weekly and I keep seeing this PanAm little airplane. Do they still exist as a small airline?

There have been at least 3 (maybe 4) small carriers that have subsequently used the Pan Am name but they're totally unrelated to the original Pan Am. It's unfortunate the name couldn't have been retired when the "real" Pan Am finally shut down.


User currently offline777captain From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 12 posts, RR: 1
Reply 7, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11420 times:

Quoting JFK787NYC (Reply 3):
How come PANAM couldnt get out of Bankruptcy like Delta, US, United?

I'm no expert but here goes: Pan Am always lacked a domestic route structure to support its int'l flying. Until the 1980s this was fine because interlining was very common. Then DL, UA, AA et al. all began flying to London, Paris & Frankfurt. So Pan Am bought National to strengthen its network. The merger was a flop for a thousand reasons and they began to lose money. So the sold the Pacific to UA. Continued losses and then the explosion in Lockerbie led to bankruptcy. DL buys most of the Atlantic and LHR goes to UA for cash. All that was left was a small Latin American operation out of MIA and for 10 (I think) months DL feeder. DL couldn't support them so United bought was left.

Please anybody correct me where I'm wrong.

cheers


User currently offlineUnitedFirst From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 478 posts, RR: 2
Reply 8, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11387 times:

Quoting JFK787NYC (Reply 3):
How come PANAM couldnt get out of Bankruptcy like Delta, US, United?

I would say that, aside from the poor decision to buy National in order to gain a domestic route network, that in the end didn't jive with its international hubs (JFK to Europe / SFO to Asia) except from MIA (to South America), Pan Am also made the mistake of selling off its most valuable assets...both to United: the Pacific network and the Heathrow authority. Eventually, mere months before it shut down, Pan Am also sold its Atlantic route network to Delta. Although Delta promised to pump cash into Pan Am, and to allow for certain cooperation (timing of flights, etc), Delta later decided not to, leading to Pan Am's demise.

Generally speaking, the biggest mistake made was selling off the segments of PA's route network that held the most prestige – and presumably generated the most revenue.


User currently offlineSpacecadet From United States of America, joined Sep 2001, 3674 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11389 times:

The legacy carriers of today are the result of many mergers both large and small. So no, Pan Am was not as big as the AA of today. But they were as big as the AA of Pan Am's time. There were a lot more airlines in those days, and all of them were smaller than the largest airlines of today. (Of course, some of them - including Pan Am - made up for it by flying larger aircraft.)

As for why Pan Am couldn't get out of bankruptcy, it's because they didn't have the route structure to enable them to. During the days of regulation, airlines were basically guaranteed profits and were doled out routes by the government. Pan Am was mainly an international airline without much of a domestic structure. When deregulation came about, they could not compete with other airlines that had both domestic and international routes. No amount of time or restructuring of the company was going to fix that problem.

What it comes down to is the government had things set up a certain way under regulation, and when deregulation came about, it was like pulling the rug out from under everybody. Some airlines had a route structure that could stand on its own, some didn't. Pan Am didn't.



I'm tired of being a wanna-be league bowler. I wanna be a league bowler!
User currently offline727LOVER From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 6637 posts, RR: 21
Reply 10, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11314 times:

Actually, the question was why couldn't Pan Am get out of bankruptcy. Not why it filed.

The key here is Pan Am waited WAY too late before filing. They had already agreed to sell LHR around the time of the filing. Then a mere 6 months later, and they had to sell the Atlantic division to Delta, for only 260 million! Quite a bargain for Delta. Also remember, this was 1991, the war was going on, the fuel prices leading up to it. It had only been a little over 2 years since Lockerbie.



I feel woozy....what did you put in that Pudding Pop?
User currently onlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7200 posts, RR: 50
Reply 11, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 11219 times:

When Juan Trippe ran Pan Am he was a very sharp and shrewd operator, and he had many, many politicians in his pocket. He tried to establish Pan Am as "the" flag carrier for the US, and if it wasn't for Howard Hughes (who owned most of TWA at the time) probably would have succeeded. He did succeed in choking off other competitors (such as Matson) but all of these maneuvers had their price. Once he was no longer on the scene the resentments that had been built up by his maneuverings erupted, and during the 70's Pan Am repeatedly tried get domestic routes but by then they had no friends due to the aforementioned resentments and the fact that Juan Trippe was out of the picture and no longer twisting arms. After deregulation they acquired National as the only quick way to get domestic routes, but it was a disaster, as other posters have noted. The rest of the story has been related pretty well and pretty accurately here; what was missing was the backlash against the Trippe saga. Another factor was that Pan Am had bought the largest number of the first 747's, and were hurt because later models were much improved and they were unable to upgrade theirs, plus the fact that too many of them were flying half empty and they couldn't trade them for smaller planes.


The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineFutureATP From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 222 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 10871 times:

Deregulation in 1978 is the primary answer. Pan Am business model was purely international. They were already feeling the heat with TWA and Northwest being granted international routes before then and at the same time they were being denied domestic routes.

As a child my elementary school had an airline book I would check out frequently. I think the title was Travel By Air. Anyway, it was published in the early 80's I would guess. But it listed off the all the major airlines and the amount of aircraft they had. (Pushing my memory and guessing here) United was the largest US airline with about 340 aircraft. Pan Am had around 180. And Aeroflot the largest with over 1000 aircraft.

Interesting figure I read a while ago. After the 747 was introduced into Pan Am's fleet, the had only 2 years of profitability until the shut down in 1991(and both years were prior to deregulation). Makes me wonder if the 380 will have that effect on anyone!


User currently offlineJFK787NYC From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 812 posts, RR: 2
Reply 13, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 10827 times:

AeroFlot at one point had 11'000 aircraft in there fleet but that was only because during soviet times all aircrafts were AeroFlot.

Where airfares more expensive in 1988 compared to today? How much profit were these carriers making back in the 70s and 80s


User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5828 posts, RR: 6
Reply 14, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 10772 times:

The thing about Pan Am back in the day was that it flew EVERYWHERE! About the only market it was not in was trans South Atlantic ie Africa/South America and trans Indian Ocean (Africa/Oz). All over Europe, to the middle east, south & east Asia & Oz from Europe and US (both ways) trans North Atlantic, trans Pacific (north & south), west Africa, east Africa & South America.

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
User currently offlineAvatordon From United States of America, joined May 2006, 239 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 10696 times:

Actually PA did fly via the South Atlantic between Brazil and South Africa. Originally, the JFK-JNB flights operated JFK, DKR, ROB, LOS, FIH, JNB. When SA started flying in the late 60s JNB-GIG-JFK, the elapsed travel time was greatly reduced. At one point in the 70s, PA started a mirror service JFK-GIG-JNB. No idea why it was stopped, but eventually they moved the flight back via West Africa (JFK-ROB-JNB). That was later rerouted via DKR when the civil war erupted in Liberia. At that point, it was operated w/a 747.

User currently offlineCommavia From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 11983 posts, RR: 62
Reply 16, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 10631 times:

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 9):
So no, Pan Am was not as big as the AA of today. But they were as big as the AA of Pan Am's time.

Relative to the megacarriers that we are familiar with today, Pan Am was not that big at all. At its zenith, probably somewhere around the late 1960s or early 1970s, before they started closing stations, dropping routes and selling assets, Pan Am was a fairly sizeable airline. But, even then, it was still a relatively small airline by comparison to carriers like AA, Eastern, and United -- all of which were significantly larger (due largely, of course, to their domestic networks).


User currently offlineFLY2LIM From United States of America, joined May 2004, 1188 posts, RR: 10
Reply 17, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 10586 times:

Quoting Gemuser (Reply 14):
The thing about Pan Am back in the day was that it flew EVERYWHERE! About the only market it was not in was trans South Atlantic ie Africa/South America and trans Indian Ocean (Africa/Oz). All over Europe, to the middle east, south & east Asia & Oz from Europe and US (both ways) trans North Atlantic, trans Pacific (north & south), west Africa, east Africa & South America.

I don't remember Pan American ever being a large presence in Peru. The only US carrier in the seventies was Braniff, and I believe this was also the case in the sixties. I believe they had a presence on the Atlantic side but not the Pacific.

FLY2LIM



Faucett. La primera linea aerea del Peru.
User currently offlineWesternA318 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 5727 posts, RR: 24
Reply 18, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 10495 times:

Quoting SEPilot (Reply 11):
After deregulation they acquired National as the only quick way to get domestic routes, but it was a disaster, as other posters have noted

It was a disaster atfirst voer the purchase price. When Pan Am originallybid for Ntioanl it was against Eastern Air Lines, who then upped their bid. Well, in walks Frank Lorenzo and Texas International (before Texas Air was formed) and then outbid BOTH airlines. Pan Am was desperate to get NA, so they outbid Lorenzo. Lorenzo made MILLIONS on Pan Am's desperation. If Lorenzo didnt raise the bar for NA, I doubt he wouldve risen to where he ended up, and I doubt Pan Am would have outbid Eastern three other times in the race for National.

Quoting FLY2LIM (Reply 17):
I don't remember Pan American ever being a large presence in Peru. The only US carrier in the seventies was Braniff, and I believe this was also the case in the sixties. I believe they had a presence on the Atlantic side but not the Pacific.

Pan Am service to Lima was flown by Panagra from the 40's until the merger with Braniff in the 60's. Panagra was bought by Braniff because the President of Panagra had a beef with Juan Trippe at the time, and wanted to keep Panagra from folding into just another division of Pan Am. After the merger, Braniff had a sizeable LatAM/SOAm presence.



Check out my blog at fl310travel.blogspot.com!
User currently offlineF9Animal From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 5127 posts, RR: 28
Reply 19, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10467 times:

Was Republic larger in terms of aircraft compared to Pan Am? I thought RC was at one point the largest airline.


I Am A Different Animal!!
User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 7
Reply 20, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10419 times:

Quoting JFK787NYC (Reply 3):
How come PANAM couldnt get out of Bankruptcy like Delta, US, United?

''

I worked for PanAm briefly between my stints at Eastern and Delta. I was hired by Pan Am after they filed bankruptcy and was then offered employment by Delta when Delta took over the North Atlantic division.

Pan Am was a mess. It was a very chaotic company to work for. Way too many management employees. A very disgruntled and bitter work force. A route structure that could no longer earn a profit....after selling the North Atlantic to Delta and the Pacific Division to United, all that was left was Latin America and a few Caribbean destinations.

When Delta purchased the North Atlantic division, the company offered bridge financing to Pan Am to help it emerge from bankruptcy. But when Pan Am burned through initial financing payments in just a few days, Delta found a way to back out of the deal, essentially stiffing Pan Am out of the rest of the money. Pan Am shut down with 48 hours due to lack of cash.

Pan Am was a "glorious" company only when it came to their history and the status as a pioneer company of the industry. It was a very poorly run company for many years before it went belly up. An awful place to work. Huge money loser for many reasons.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently offlineN844AA From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 1352 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 10387 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 20):
Huge money loser for many reasons.

I have to wonder if this snippet from Wikipedia helps explain a few of those many reasons:

Quote:
In the 1950s, Pan Am diversified into other areas. Some of the businesses that Pan Am bought into included a hotel chain, the InterContinental Hotel, and a business jet, the Falcon. The airline was involved in creating a missile-tracking range in the South Atlantic, and in operating a nuclear-engine testing laboratory in Nevada.

Diversified much?



New airplanes, new employees, low fares, all touchy-feely ... all of them are losers. -Gordon Bethune
User currently offlineJetdeltamsy From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 2987 posts, RR: 7
Reply 22, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 10271 times:

Quoting N844AA (Reply 21):
Diversified much?

By the time Pan Am filed for bankruptcy, all that was left was the core airline operation.


Everything else...the hotels, the Manhattan office building, route authorities and aircraft..everything.. had been slowly sold off over a period of about 10 years to raise cash to keep the airline flying. By the time the shutdown came, there was nothing of any value left to sell or use as collateral to borrow against.

Pan Am had been only marginally profitable through most of its existence. In my opinion, the real downward spiral began with the acquisition of the 747 fleet and with the National Airlines acquisition. Both events were hugely expensive for Pan Am. Pan Am paid about $400 million for National but spent close to $1 billion to acquire and fully integrate National into Pan Am....way more than it was worth and way more than it could have ever contributed to the bottom line of a merged company. The sell-off of major assets began after the National merger. Ed Acker (he presided over a few bankrupt airlines in his career) came in and basically was another Frank Lorenzo. He gutted what was left of Pan Am when he took over.



Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
User currently onlineSEPilot From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 7200 posts, RR: 50
Reply 23, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10073 times:

Quoting Jetdeltamsy (Reply 20):
Pan Am was a mess. It was a very chaotic company to work for. Way too many management employees. A very disgruntled and bitter work force. A route structure that could no longer earn a profit....after selling the North Atlantic to Delta and the Pacific Division to United, all that was left was Latin America and a few Caribbean destinations.

As I mentioned earlier, Pan Am's chief asset during its heyday was Juan Trippe's political muscle. Once he left (and when he retired, he actually retired and didn't meddle) that was gone, and all that was left was all the resentments that had been built up. I can well understand how this would lead to the situation you describe; certainly none of the leaders that followed Trippe were up to the task of rescuing the sinking ship that was Pan Am. There is an excellent book about the decline and fall of Pan Am, "Skygods", by Robert Gandt, who was a Pan Am pilot who then went to United when United bought the Pacific routes.



The problem with making things foolproof is that fools are so doggone ingenious...Dan Keebler
User currently offlineANCFlyer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 24, posted (7 years 7 months 4 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 10042 times:

http://www.panam.org/default1.asp

25 JFK787NYC : So, it was basically just dumb of them to sell everything off why didnt they just start building there own Domestic network? if they bought an airline
26 TPAnx : To use another example of "big"...ran into an ex-PanAm pilot in the smoking lounge at TPA . He said that "back in the day" the airline could do more f
27 SEPilot : They didn't have the time; they were being squeezed AA, UA, NW, TWA & DL, all of which had domestic and international routes; and they were unable to
28 4everRC : It depends on how you look at it. Immediately after the RW acquisition, RC was indeed the largest domestic carrier, because they served the most citi
29 Isitsafenow : Adding to the above, in the mid and late 60's, the USA had the following international carriers, PA and TW which were world wide ( TW also had a dome
30 Commavia : Yes, plus Mexico City and Acapulco. I believe that was it at that point, but could be wrong.
31 TAN FLYR : 2 great pints...Way too many 747's in the earlly 70's when first, we had a mild resession in 70/71 just as the first 747s hit..so many wewre flying a
32 MEA-707 : AA, Eastern and United were larger but not like 3 or 5 times larger. Let's take 1972 in account, after which Pan Ams decline slowly started Pan Ams f
33 MSYtristar : It's interesting to note that shortly after the PA/NA merger went through, deregulation ended. PA could have saved the billion or so dollars spent on
34 SEPilot : I had forgotten that; I thought that the merger was after deregulation. That does change the picture, and makes the merger even more unfortunate. Qui
35 OceansWorld : William Seawell, chairman & CEO of Pan Am since March 1972 choose to buy an airline before the deregulation, and this is seen as his first mistake acc
36 SEPilot : There is precedent for this; for years after Trippe's retirement Pan Am flew a daily 707 flight to the Caribbean island where Trippe lived (I've forg
37 MSYtristar : Rock Sound. 707 service I believe.
38 SkyyMaster : IMO, there was only ever one Pan Am, the one that died in the early 90's. This thing that has popped up in various iterations over the years with 72S
39 OceansWorld : Indeed. The Trippe lived in Eleuthera, in the Bahamas and the 707 was flying back and forth from Rock Sound's airport. Just a bit of eccentricity fro
40 Post contains images LVHGEL : You pretty much summarized the story Never flown on a full PA 747 (I've flown approximately 16 times in them)
41 Post contains images PBIflyguy : National was an exceptional airline, on many levels. Solid financially ( we owned our aircraft), very functional ( yet odd) route network, good custom
42 SEPilot : This is where Juan Trippe's vision broke down. He was the driving force behind the development of the 747, and envisioned it enabling fares to drop t
43 Post contains images LatinPlane : LatinPlane
44 Post contains images Latinplane : One more - this one from the late 70s. LatinPlane
45 Post contains images 747400sp : In there last years, Pan Am used a lot of Boeing 747, out of LAX alone. Out of LAX they had 3 going to JFK, 1 to HNL, 1 to MIA, and believe or not, 1
46 LTU932 : That's the website for Boston-Maine Airways, aka Pan Am Clipper Connection, aka Pan Am III. Except for the name, which they most likely use for marke
47 OceansWorld : I remember seeing two of their A300s at LAX in July 1991, with one later taking off rather heavy. Don't know where was it heading to then ? At least
48 Post contains images LVHGEL : Some details I want you to note from the video (I am old enough to have seem them my self): 1) The "aerostats wall paper": I clearly remember those i
49 Lemurs : I notice how they were talking about mood lighting inside the cabin there...any idea how they acomplished that? Gels around regular incandescents? Hm
50 Post contains images LTU932 : It must have been like paradise back then.
51 Post contains images LVHGEL : You said it
52 Post contains links Analog : Yes. In 1988 the average fare (whatever the US DOT and GAO think that is) was something like $350 in 2005 dollars. In 2005 it was less than $300. May
53 Viscount724 : For a while after Republic bought Hughes Airwest, they served more US points than any other airline. But they quickly began rationalizing the route n
54 Post contains images SkyyMaster : Wow, in all my years as an enthusiast, I never knew this. Rock Sound always did seem somewhat of an odd destination to me and I'd wondered on occasio
55 DavidkunzVIE : *cough* SR anyone? *cough*
56 Post contains images Walter747 : Wow thats actually saddening.
57 Db777 : That is not how I remember it at all and I'm surprised no one else has spoken up. Texas Air made the original hostile bid to take over National. Pan
58 USPIT10L : Pan American was not allowed to develop their own domestic network. Since Trippe made PA the "chosen instrument" of US foreign air travel, they were
59 PExDCA : It funny how things come full circle... I read somewhere that Virgin America is touting mood lighting on it new Airbus fleet. Perhaps Pan Am was ahae
60 Algoz : I beg to differ - I worked for Pan Am from 1978 to 1991, and they were the best employer I ever had.
61 Jfk777 : It was sad to see Pan Am sell it non-airline subsidiaries off one at a time, then the Asia routes and finally LHR. Why didn't any CEO have the thought
62 AlecxiA319 : Why do they even have Pan Am Clipper Connection, If it all went down...they made a new airline,like Song? I saw two at TPA in April. They 727 pointed
63 DENplanenut : I saw this plane last weekend at BWI... that was sad!!
64 USPIT10L : They tried a hostile takeover of NW in 1989, but Al Checci and company outbid them for it. Of course, both NW and PA would've gone under if that had
65 Post contains images PExDCA : At some point around the same time weren't there also discussions about merging with BN2??? My memory may be foggy about it, so if I am mistaken my a
66 USPIT10L : Correct. Ed Acker and Marty Shugrue's departures from Pan Am stemmed from the Pritzkers' attempt to buy Pan Am in 1988. Shugrue was against it and Ac
67 AirFrnt : As other's have noted, Pan Am's star was fading well before the 80s. Pan Am really started to nose dive with the 747s. They didn't have the route sys
68 Post contains images VC10DC10 : Well, PA was the only truly worldwide U.S. flag carrier, with transatlantic, transpacific, trans- Latin American, trans- African, trans- Asian, intra
69 USPIT10L : TWA did not give up their London access--that wasn't done until 1991, when, as a counter measure to PA's LHR slot sale to United, TWA sold their LHR
70 AirFrnt : Thanks for the correction.
71 Isitsafenow : You are more right-on there vs. the Pan Am network. thx for that........ safe
72 PExDCA : I always wondered how well that merger would have worked... BN2 certainly did not feed traffic to either JFK or MIA where Pan Am would have benefitte
73 Post contains links and images NWOrientDC10 : This is a good discussion topic. Here's an article worth reading: http://www.xent.com/pipermail/fork/Week-of-Mon-20031103/026702.html Pan American Wor
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