Topic Author
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Why Did Pan Am Go Outta Business?

Sun Mar 19, 2000 1:41 pm

I wonder why the Original Pan Am went out of business? Don't just tell me "poor management" for example, tell me what management did.
Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
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RE: Why Did Pan Am Go Outta Business?

Sun Mar 19, 2000 1:50 pm

A lot has to do with the crash/bombing, of Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland. Pan Am was found negligent and their security mesures where exposed as fake. So called "bomb sniffing dogs" where exposed as muts from local kennals. People lost confidence and Pan Am was sued by the flight 103 relatives. In truth, after Juan Trippe left, it all went down hill, also it was bad managment.

RE: Why Did Pan Am Go Outta Business?

Mon Mar 20, 2000 4:07 am

Pan Am really started to go down hill after deregulation and their 'idiotic' purchase of National Airlines. NA's operations were not suited to Pan Am's style of operation and I am just surprised that they didn't go bust before PA103
Matt D
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RE: Why Did Pan Am Go Outta Business?

Mon Mar 20, 2000 4:14 am

I agree....Lockerbie was the straw that broke the camels back. And yes, the purchase of (the original) National did nothing to help.
2 great documentaries have been made on the subject, and if you can find them, they would be worth watching. I can also make copies for anyone who may want.
The first is "Death Of An American Dream"
The other was produced by HBO and gets aired every so often: "The Destruction of Flight 103"
Both provide lots of background, recreations and interviews, and are highly recommended.

Fake Security Measures!?

Mon Mar 20, 2000 6:00 am

Yiii!! Fake security measures!? Why'd Pan Am do that in the first place? The mangement people who did this ought to be in jail for that, for fake measures do nothing to save the lives of Pan Am's crews and passengers! Especially in the light of PA103.
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RE: Why Did Pan Am Go Outta Business?

Mon Mar 20, 2000 6:42 am

Pan am 103 went down during Pan Am's chapter 11. I'm suprised that Pan Am went on for another 4 years before calling it quits. Things were so bad at Pan Am It made Eastern look good. Temporarily anyway... If the original PA was still here I wouldn't fly them. I knew a friend who lost family on the flight. December 21, 1988 is when The american dream (Pan am had let me down.) I remeber my friend's dad fighting with the agent at JFK for info for 3 members and one other person we thought was on board, Finally the agent looked up the names and said "sorry about the three but your lucky on the one) I'm glad that Pan Am with the insensitive mamnagement died. I hope that this mangement never finds jobs with other airlines and put them through the same thing.
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RE: Why Did Pan Am Go Outta Business?

Mon Mar 20, 2000 11:21 am

I´ll have to agree to the Lockerbie incident and it´s aftermath...also some part has to do with poor management&the merger with National and so forth...
But one fact that everyone here seems to forget is the fact that during the final years of ops.PA found themself flying a/c´s with really poor cabinfactors...that means that out of ,let´s say,250 psgrs on a trans Atlantic flight,only ´bout fifty had actually paid their tickets by the full prize...all the rest of the psgrs were "frequent flier free mileage passengers...."
This means that they didn´t get paid for the real cost of the flight...
Anyways,to darn bad that the original PA went "belly up",I for one really miss them...
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RE: Fake Security And Others...

Mon Mar 20, 2000 11:35 am

The reon Pan Am could not fill cabins is because they lost public trust. The Fake security measures where never meant to be exposed. The where meant to make everyone feel confident with PA's security at a minimal cost to the airline. I don't think that at that point they cared about actuall saftey.
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RE: Why Did Pan Am Go Outta Business?

Mon Mar 20, 2000 11:51 am

I grew up in the original Pan Am family so my opinion is probably more than a little biased. The fact that I studied business and own/operate a small, full-time service business on the side doesn't help. Pan Am went under for two primary reasons:

1. Juan Tripp was very successful at obtaining what he wanted for Pan Am and in doing so he made many political enemies. Enemies that remained in political power after Juan Tripp retired from Pan Am.

2. Juan Tripp's biggest failure was his failure to train and retain a skilled management team to run Pan Am after his retirement.

After Mr. Tripp's retirement, Pan Am was unsuccessful at obtaining rights to fly domestic flights while domestic airlines obtained increasing rights to fly international flights (see #1 above). Deregulation finally permitted Pan Am to fly domestic flights (probably too late by that time anyway) and the National Airlines purchase was a desperation move to get a significan domestic presence quickly. Failure to smoothly merge the two carriers further weakened Pan Am's already weak position. After that there was never a management team in place seeking the long term profitability for the airline. Long before the Pacific Division was sold to United, Pan Am employees who were paying attention got their debt paid off as quickly as possible.

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