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Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Thu Oct 03, 2002 11:22 pm

This may or may not be of interest to anyone - but a few months ago I dug out some old timetables and spent some time going through them. I posted the following message on another board, but it didn't seem to generate much interest, so I'll try it out on you guys. The message is a synopsis of two early 1980s Pan Am timetables. I did the same exercise with an early 1980s United timetable, but I can't seem to find it. Anyway, here's the Pan Am version:

The October 28, 1984 Pan Am timetable is very interesting. The cover of this timetable shows a Pan Am A-310 flying over some wooded mountainous terrain, although the timetable lists no Airbus aircraft of any type in service. The plane in the timetable picture has Airbus rego. F-WZEG - many thanks to Bill Harms for the following information, this plane became N802PA and now flies packages for FedEx as N417FE. The inside cover states "Airbus A-310. Twelve ultra automated, high technology aircraft of this series and sixteen A-320 series will be the newest additions to Pan Am's jetliner fleet". The 310s came to be, but alas the 320s were a pipe dream. Wonder why they didn't mention the A-300s.

So now for the highlights. Berlin, West Germany had a whopping 40 weekday Pan Am flights. Since JFK was the center of Pan Am's being, here is a list of nonstop destinations Pan Am offered from there in 1984:
Dharan (but some monkey business goes on with this flight, as for at least part of the time the New York-Dharan flight stopped in Shannon, a city otherwise unlisted in this 1984 Pan Am timetable. It seems to have operated nonstop when 747SPs were used, otherwise with standard 747 equip a Shannon stop ensued, surely for refueling. In the schedule portion of the timetable the flight was listed unconditionally as a nonstop, but with a 1:35 penalty 12/11-12/19 and 1/2-1/4. Those early 747-100s really had a short range compared to today's jets.)
Los Angeles
New Orleans
Point A Pitre
Rio de Janeiro
St. Louis
St. Maarten
St. Thomas
San Francisco
Tampa/St. Pete
Washington (IAD and National)

The flights you'd expect from Pan Am out of JFK and MIA predominate this schedule. But here are some that are unusual by today's sensibilities for routing, equipment or both:

Dallas-San Antonio 727
New York-San Fran 747SP
New Orleans-Houston 727
Houston-San Fran 727
New York-Dharan 747SP
Houston-Mexico City 747
Houston-New York 747
Frankfurt-Dubai 747
Dubai-Bombay 747
Frankfurt-Karachi 747
Karachi-Delhi 747
Minneapolis-Chicago L1011
Chicago-New York L1011
Dubrovnik-Zagreb 737
Vienna-Budapest 737
Vienna-Munich 737
Istanbul-Geneva 737
Zurich-Stuttgart 737
Philadelphia-Raleigh 727
Frankfurt-London 747SP
New York-Monrovia 747SP
Monrovia-Johannesburg 747SP
New York-Dakar 747
Dakar-Monrovia 747
Monrovia-Lagos 747
Lagos-Nairobi 747
Los Angeles-Sydney 747SP
Seoul-Osaka 727
Osaka-Tokyo 727
Pittsburgh-Philadelphia 727
Buenos Aires-Montevideo L1011
Buenos Aires-Rio L1011
Miami-St. Maarten DC10
New York-Nassau 747
Nassau-Freeport 747
Buenos Aires-Santiago L1011
Pittsburgh-Nashville 727
Kansas City-St. Louis 727
Charlotte-Washington 727
Indianapolis-Detroit L1011
Detroit-New York L1011 (In 1984 this constituted a 1-stop to London, even though they showed a London nonstop on their map. In my 1986 timetable nonstop DTW-LHR was announced as new service with A-310 equipment)
Cincinnati-Cleveland 727
San Fran-Los Angeles 747SP
Dharan-Shannon 747

A year and a half or so later, for the 4/27/86 timetable they expanded significantly in Europe - "Pan Am Flies To More Places in Europe Than All U.S. Airlines Combined" was the slogan on the cover. The A-300s and A-310s were prevalent and the 737s were beginning to come stateside from Europe, while some 727s and 310s had gone to the Berlin operation. Asia/Australia/Hawaii was totally gone, sold to United along with the 747SPs and L1011s. The arriving Airbi had also kicked the few remaining ex-National DC-10s out of the fleet (how many airlines operated both L1011s and DC-10s? Eastern, Delta, United, British Airways…?). By 1987 Dakar, Monrovia, Lagos and Johannesburg were history. The popular BOS-LGA-DCA shuttle service had hit the big time. Moscow and St. Petersburg were served. The infamous Flight 103 was in the timetable with the routing Frankfurt-London-New York-Detroit (with equipment change). Additional nonstop destinations from JFK since 1984:
Mexico City (replacing the Houston 1-stop)
Minneapolis (replacing the L1011 via Chicago)
Puerto Plata
Shannon (the flight itineraries listed this city pair in 1984, but the schedule did not. Must have been a refueling stop in 1984 and offered as an official city in 1986/1987)
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Thu Oct 03, 2002 11:37 pm

A few nice surprises on this list.

I recall leafing through a Pan Am timetable from summer 1985 and seeing an A300 operating from DFW to JFK, obviously a bid for overseas connections. In fact, one of the A300s was named 'Clipper Dallas'.

As for A300s not being mentioned in the 1984 sched, didn't they arrive at Pan Am after the A310s, perhaps not until very late '84, early '85??
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Thu Oct 03, 2002 11:54 pm

Thanks for the research. The A320's went to Braniff II. I wish Pan Am would have organized their routes a little better. As you can see, they did a lot of stopping with their service to secondary cities. ....... PIT, BNA, fill up seats back to MIA or JFK. As for the strange Houston routings, I believe they were carry over routes from National.
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Fri Oct 04, 2002 2:54 am

Thanks for the info. I found it to be very interesting especially since I am too young to really remember the old Pan Am. What I cant understand though is what were they thinking flying Indianapolis-Detriot with a L1011. Also Minneapolis-Chicago with an L1011 doesnt make much sense.
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Fri Oct 04, 2002 3:41 am

I believe the IND-DTW continued onto LHR.
17 year vet! 2000-2016
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Fri Oct 04, 2002 4:51 am

Reiterating the fact that travel was 'much different' back then, the SFO-LAX 747sp was the beginning of the SF0-LAX-SYD-MEL nightly flight. There was no transfer of aircraft or even having to deplane at all for pax origininating in SFO (and you could buy tix for the sf-la route as well). It simply 'made the stop' and pax either deplaned or boarded. Back then, this was common with airlines to stop somewhere on route. We didn't have the daily nonstops from here and there like we do now. Also, PA had flights (depending on the day) such as LAX-SFO-LHR (w/the same 747) or LHR-SFO-LAX , LHR-lax-sfo. British Airways back in 1986 had daily service to SFO, BUT 3 of those flights stopped in LAX en route, changed crew and continued to SFO. I was on one of those flights in Feb 86.
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:01 am

13-Sep-1984 -- Pan Am entered a $1 billion agreement with Airbus to acquire 28 jetliners (twelve A310-300, sixteen A320), scheduled for delivery beginning as early as mid-1987. To tide Pan Am over in the interim, the carrier would lease 12 A300's, and 4 A310-200's. The delivery schedule:

N202PA 12/84 America
N203PA 12/84 New York
N204PA 12/84 Washington
N205PA 12/84 Miami
N207PA 03/85 Los Angeles
N209PA 03/85 Boston
N206PA 04/85 Tampa
N208PA 04/85 San Francisco
N210PA 04/85 Dallas
N211PA 04/85 Houston
N212PA 05/85 Detroit
N213PA 05/85 Chicago

N801PA 05/85 Berlin
N802PA 05/85 Frankfurt
N803PA 05/85 Munich
N804PA 06/85 Hamburg
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Fri Oct 04, 2002 9:47 am

Man I love Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing. Imagine a Pan Am 747 service to Monrovia, Liberia. United ("Worldwide Service" yeah right) or any US carrier don't even fly to Africa, let alone Liberia. Pan Am had some truly amazing jet services, ie Sydney to Bangkok, Sydney to Hong Kong, Sydney to Singapore, Los Angeles to Saigon, New York to Tehran, Frankfurt to Beirut to India to Oz.

Their US domestic services in the 80s were a mess, no-one ever explained the idea of a hub to them. Hence lots of 747s transcon and Houston - JFK, and TriStars from Indianapolis to O'Hare. I remember in the late 80s and early 90s Pan Am flew A310s from Heathrow to Cleveland via Detroit (the only Cleveland trans Atlantic flight til Continental's recent 757 to Gatwick?). Very true that the 80s were boom years for trans Atlantic destinations, with Airbus they served the likes of Budapest, Nice and Marseilles (Nice and Marseilles may have had 747s at one point).

Beirut was a big destination for Pan Am in the sixties til the civil war started there in 1975. When the US Marines entered Beirut on a peace-keeping mission (it didn't end up as one) in 1984, Pan Am restarted scheduled flights with 727s to their hub at Frankfurt (OK Pan Am had a hub...unfortunately it was in Germany). Since the Marine barracks was next to the airport, the Marines had to salute the daily Pan Am flight as it screeched overhead. True story. (The service, and MEA's new BEY-Orly-JFK 747, ended when fighting restarted, signalling the end of Lebanon-US air service.)
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Fri Oct 04, 2002 11:53 am

Pan Am never operated the A300 either to Europe or within Europe, or on any other transatlantic flight, for that matter. The A300's operated on domestic US flights and from Miami to the Caribbean and to Latin America. Only the 310's operated on the North Atlantic and intra-Europe routes, as well as from Frankfurt to Nairobi. Also, some A310's served deep Latin America routes when the 747's were on maintenance.

Someone also wrote about an IND-DTW-LHR route. That route never did operate. It operated late into Pan Am's life, as CLE-DTW-LHR, and with an A310-300ER. Eventually, Delta operated it, for just a few short months, then dropped it.

I flew Pan Am from JFK to FCO (PA 110 and PA 111) and back, twice, in the early 1980's. Both flights were awful. My best flights though on Pan Am were on the Pan Am Shuttle from LGA to BOS and DCA. Excellent flights. Their slogan was "The Corporate Jet".

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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Fri Oct 04, 2002 1:20 pm

Some intra-Pacific flights operated A300's before the division was sold to UAL. The Pacific was sold 22-Apr-85 and transfered 11-Feb-86. These routes had A300 equipment according to the listed timetable:




All Pacific flights 747/747SP
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RE: Pan Am Timetable Reminiscing

Fri Oct 04, 2002 1:27 pm

Cant be sure if it was regular, but in 1985 I flew a PAA A-300 from NRT to Manila via Taipei. I had travelled all te way from Rio on PAA (GIG-MIA-LAX-NRT) using 747's. The MIA-LAX sector was empty. Different times they were! I can remember soon after that seeing funny-colored L1011's leaving MNL, with orange stripes. They were now UAL's - I only found out later about the buyout.
When I lived in the Southern Philippines in the early 80's I frequently saw PAA 747SP's fly overhead on their way to HKG from Sydney, using DAO as a waypoint.