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Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Sun Apr 29, 2001 4:23 pm

Question sort of speaks for itself... I know Pan Am had a huge international presence once (however I had no interest in airplanes/airlines etc. at the time they shut down, so I don't know much about them). Did they serve heathrow.

If they did sign Bermuda II, were there originally 5 members, or did American/United buy out Pan Ams slots to Heathrow (the way United bought the pacific routes)?

Thanx for info,

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RE: Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Sun Apr 29, 2001 4:30 pm

Pan Am did serve Heathrow until 1990 (I think), but at that stage they were strapped for cash, and United bought the slots. American did the same with TWA, at about the same time.
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RE: Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Sun Apr 29, 2001 4:37 pm

Did United and American have the rights to Heathrow before buying them from TWA and Pan Am?
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RE: Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Sun Apr 29, 2001 9:49 pm

Pan AM had a big presence at LHR and of course operated the first 747 into LHR. It was them and TWA that solely served LHR and then these both sold their rights to UA and AA. Both Pan AM and TWA then moved their routes to LGW and it was amazing to see their crews coming through Customs at LGW to go to their respective hotels. As crew working from LGW they seemed so much older compared to us.
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RE: Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Sun Apr 29, 2001 10:30 pm

The airlines did not "sign" Bermuda 2....that is a treaty between the governments of the UK and the US. The respective governments designated which carriers were to be covered by the terms of the treaty. United and American did not serve LHR before obtaining the routes from Pan Am and TWA, and in fact the British government tried to stop them from flying to Heathrow after they purchased the routes, saying that the routes had been granted to Pan Am and TWA and their descendants (if either were to merge into other companies). In fact, I don't think United flew to Europe at all at that time, and American had only its DFW-LGW service. As I recall not all Pan Am and TWA routes to Heathrow were part of the sale (some were not approved for transfer by one or the other of the governments), but the remaining routes were dropped since they would have been "orphans" at Gatwick.

Where did Pan Am fly to LGW from? Are you sure about this? I thought they sold ALL their US-UK rights to United. Maybe the "orphan" routes I mentioned above were operated briefly by Pan Am though.

You can read a long explanation of Bermuda 2 (albeit only from the British perspective) at
Ned Kelly
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RE: Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Mon Apr 30, 2001 3:37 am

Pan Am did indeed have scheduled flights to Gatwick, I beleive they operated to New Orleans daily with L1011-500's. This photo was taken at LGW in Sept 1981.

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © John Kelly

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RE: Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Mon Apr 30, 2001 4:36 am

I saw a Pan Am 747 at Gatwick after the LHR slots were sold to UA. I don't know what the route/s were, not all of them, since I only saw one plane. Probably Miami. The routes at the time of the sale were: JFK, IAD, SFO, LAX, and probably MIA. Plus a network 727 flights to Germany, France and Eastern Europe which UA briefly operated.

Of course in the 60s and 70s there were flights from LHR to the Middle East, India, Far East, round-the-world, they applied for everything they could get their hands on. For a few years in the early 70s Pan Am even flew daily 747s Bangkok-Sydney...with about 15 passengers aboard I would guess. Probably part of their SE Asia flights around Vietnam (747s into Saigon etc).
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
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RE: Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Mon Apr 30, 2001 5:33 am

At the time of the sale PA flew from LHR to Miami, Washington, New York, Detoit, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Amsterdam and Oslo. There were many other rights not used (eg. Paris, Brussels, Delhi). I think UA actually took over the routes in March 1991?

UA didnot purchase the Miami and Detroit routes which PA transfered to LGW. These went to DL when they bought the remainder of PA's transatlantic routes in November 1991. Miami was shut and Detroit sold to Northwest who continue to operate it today.

I'm currently creating an Online (Original) Pan Am Timetable of September 1990. So far flights cities Albany through Belgrade are complete with Berlin half online. Please view it at  Smile simply click on the "Pan American History Link" link to view it. It's a long term project but any support is very welcome  Smile.

Pan Am was the first airline to fly "in" to LHR longhaul, a flight by a Connie from LGA the day after LHR opened. An Imperial (think it was still Imperial then) aircraft took off for New York the day before I believe.

Hope that helps!
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RE: Did Pan Am Serve Lhr?

Mon Apr 30, 2001 6:03 am

The link above seems to have gone mad, but the address is right and working, so please take a look at


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