Not exactly. The Delta Shuttle was the successor to the Pan Am Shuttle (which was branded The Corporate Jet). Delta bought it and the assets that came with it, including the 727-200 Shuttle fleet, the gates at the Marine Air Terminal, which was used for the Delta Shuttle operation (BOS, LGA, and ORD) until Delta moved everything under one roof at LGA and into Terminals C and D. Pan Am though never operated a shuttle to ORD from LGA. DL added that much, much later, post 2008.
Pan Am Shuttle was the original New York Air BOS-LGA-DCA operation, which Lorenzo had to sell when he purchased Eastern. Pan Am paid $61m. As you mention, Delta purchased Pan Am Shuttle in 1991. The Bagels have indeed survived all three incarnations.
I’m missing something. Please clarify.
I thought there were two shuttles operating at the same time. The Pan Am Shuttle and the Eastern Shuttle.
Was the Pan Am Shuttle the first to operate? Did Lorenzo's company own the Pan Am Shuttle prior to acquiring Eastern and therefore had to sell the Pan Am Shuttle? Did Pan Am purchase the Shuttle back from Lorenzo for $61M?
There have been many "shuttles" between BOS-NY-DC since the 1950s. What we think of as the "Shuttle" is the hourly, no reservation service between Boston Logan- NY LaGuardia and National Airport. That was invented by EA. It was as close to the 42nd street Shuttle in NYC as you could get in aviation. You showed up and got on the plane. Tickets were literally taken on the plane by the flight attendants. If the plane was full there was a back up fleet (originally Viscounts, I think) to fly extra flights.
Post deregulation, Frank Lorenzo grabbed access to the three airports (which is shocking now, but had extra capacity in the early 80s) and created a rival shuttle under New York Air. It turned the shuttle from "bus" service into a business class service with the bagels, etc. During the early. and mid-80s they battled on service, reliability and not on price..
When Texas Air bought eastern (having owned NY Air/Continental/etc.) it agreed to sell the "Shuttle" operation to Pan Am Corp. Pan Am set up the Shuttle as a separate Company, called "Pan Am Shuttle, Inc." which was then sold in the Pan Am bankruptcy to Delta and became "Delta Shuttle, Inc." also a septette company owned by Delta. Delta continued to operate the Shuttle as a separate "airline within the airline" with its own dedicated (all Y with 36" pitch) fleet (727s, then 737s then MD-88s), separate terminal at LGA and operating processes through 2008. During the 90s, DL added shuttle like service between DC and Boston using the shuttle fleet and in the '00s added Chicago-LGA. While Delta Shuttle, Inc. may still exist on paper, it doesn't exist as an airline operating company anymore. All flights are sold and managed by Delta Air Lines, Inc. Most flights (up to Covid) were actually operated by Republic d/b/a "Delta Shuttle"
As for EA. When it entered bankruptcy, Lorenzo organized quickly to sell the Shuttle...for a huge sum...to Trump who rebranded it as Trump Shuttle. The airline went bankrupt with the creditors (Citibank being the largest) taking control and renaming the airline Shuttle, Inc. They cut a deal with USAir to take over management and operation of the airline with USAir taking a stake and branding it as the "USAir Shuttle". It was a completely septette airline with its own fleet, crews, etc. USAir, having slots a plenty at DCA also connected the dots and added DCA-BOS to the shuttle service. Slowly USAir/USAIrways took over full ownership of the airline and it was integrated into USAirways. When USAirways bought American, it became rebranded at the American Shuttle.
So since the early 80s, there have been two "shuttles'....
Eastern Air Shuttle became Trump Shuttle, then USAir Shuttle, then USAirways Shuttle which is now American Airlines Shuttle.
NYAir became Pan Am Shuttle which became and is Delta Shuttle