Its been mentioned here before however, not for a while so, since I have the dubious distinction of working for ALL 3
incarnations of Pan Am, here goes the saga...
As most of us know, the original, Juan T. Trippe's Pan American World Airways, ceased operations on 04-Dec-91. In the mid to late '90s, the name and logo were bought by a group headed by former PA Vice-Chairman (and Eastern Airlines' court-appointed Bankruptcy Trustee) Martin Shugrue. When PA began operations, using A300-B4
's, he declared "This is not Wal-Mart, this is Tiffiny's". Within 1 year, PA2 was in deep debt and looking for help.
During that same time frame, ValuJet 592 crashed and the owner of Carnival Air Lines, Micky Arison, was afraid if Carnival (KW) suffered a similar accident, it would reflect negatively on his Carnival Cruise Lines, so he was looking for a buyer for KW
bought PA2 and changed the name to Pan Am. Within months of the changeover, PA2 was closed.
A group headed by Guilford Transportation and Tim Mellon (of the Mellon Bank family) bought the name, logo and other assets of PA2 in Bankruptcy Court and began operations as a passenger charter airline, with the headquarters based in PSM
and the airline's operations and maintenance based in FLL
's old facilities).
When they moved maintenance to SFB
and all other operational offices to PSM
, the airline lost most of their maintenance and technical personnel. Today, they stand as a sad reminder of what was once agruably, the most storied US airline ever.
The original PA pioneered many of the routes we take for granted today. It linked the world in a way that was never done before. It helped the Allies win the war in the Pacific (by giving the use of their radio navigation system and facilities throughout the South Pacific). The PA Blue Ball is still today one of the most, if not the most recognized airline logo worldwide. In many places in the world, PA was
the United States. It was the closest this country would come to having a national airline.
I too wish someone with the vision, the "huevos" and the capital, would remake PA into something that would make it a proud remake of her former self but that does not seem to be feasible. Sadly, the airline Juan T. Trippe built and make great is gone forever but she leaves a great legacy of routes (who can remember flying on PA001 around the world?) and aircraft (the Boeing 344 Flying Boat, the B-707, the B-747 and the 747SP - all aircraft that Boeing built because PA demanded them).
Freight Dogs Anonymous - O.O.T.S.K.
DAMN! This SUCKS! I just had to go to the next higher age bracket in my profile! :-(