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MIAFLLPBIFlyer
Posts: 470
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Mon Jun 08, 2020 11:45 pm

N649DL wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
I will keep this simple.
Eastern was the only collapse that really impacted travelers and took a while to back fill network wise by other carriers. Pan Am & TWA had been basket cases for years and year. In Pan Am's case having assets to sell at a time of restricted int'l air travel via bilaterals etc to raise funds kept the airline going longer than it should have. Pan Am's purchase of National in 1980 was a disaster. Pan Am and TWA were actually both in horrible financial shape in the early 1970's after the 747 came on line. The route swap and right-sizing of both airline in 1975 ushered in an era of more success for them, but long story short, both had high costs, fundamental network issues and probably were lucky to last as long as they did.

Eastern also always had financial issues but such an important part of air travel domestically especially along the east coast, its downsizing post 1986 and eventual collapse had more of an impact IMO.


TWA was actually doing OK in the late 1980s and was going through a bit of an International renaissance at JFK (and having a massive STL hub through acquiring Ozark in 1986.) Things didn't go south for them until Carl Icahn came along in the early 1990s.

IIRC, Pan Am might've been turning a corner in terms of profitability and getting it's costs in line in circa 1986-1987, but any forward progress was killed off by the Lockerbie crash. Delta invested heavily in Pan Am in the early 1990s and when they decided to pull the plug on PA's funding, they were completely done. Pan Am also did a complete overhaul of it's aging 747 fleet back then, so they weren't complete relics like they were by the time TWA flight 800 occurred in 1996. Pan Am almost merged with Northwest in 1989 and was looking to create a PA-NW-KL alliance (sort of in the same way DL-KL-AF in the late 2000s.) Had that happened, Pan Am's future would've been completely different during the 1990s.

It's still a bit surprising that the US Government let Pan Am die the way they did, but IIRC, Pan Am also made a lot of enemies over the years politically (could be a factor as of why.) Back then the US Government wasn't really in the business of bailing out the airlines either like they did after 9/11 or even during COVID-19.



I read somewhere that Pan Am was stunned by how much both the Johnson and Nixon Administrations disliked them, undercutting them on the Trans Pacific Route Case and not allowing them to carry domestic passengers. They made tons of enemies through the years politically.

Also in hindsight it was probably good for the US traveler to get Pan Am and TWA out of the way as their service levels were terrible by the late 1980's.

Delta, American and United all were more able to be competitive with European flag carriers in the 80's and 90's. Obviously since 9/11 the industry has changed and that logic doesn't hold water anymore, but throughout the 90's it was better to have UA and AA at Heathrow for the American traveler and DL throughout much of the rest of Europe and India than Pan Am or TWA. The standard of service had slipped that far.
 
enplaned
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:11 am

N649DL wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
I will keep this simple.
Eastern was the only collapse that really impacted travelers and took a while to back fill network wise by other carriers. Pan Am & TWA had been basket cases for years and year. In Pan Am's case having assets to sell at a time of restricted int'l air travel via bilaterals etc to raise funds kept the airline going longer than it should have. Pan Am's purchase of National in 1980 was a disaster. Pan Am and TWA were actually both in horrible financial shape in the early 1970's after the 747 came on line. The route swap and right-sizing of both airline in 1975 ushered in an era of more success for them, but long story short, both had high costs, fundamental network issues and probably were lucky to last as long as they did.

Eastern also always had financial issues but such an important part of air travel domestically especially along the east coast, its downsizing post 1986 and eventual collapse had more of an impact IMO.


TWA was actually doing OK in the late 1980s and was going through a bit of an International renaissance at JFK (and having a massive STL hub through acquiring Ozark in 1986.) Things didn't go south for them until Carl Icahn came along in the early 1990s.


Can we at least try to get the basics right? Carl Icahn took over TWA in what year? No, not in the 1990s, but in fact 1985. So if you imagine TWA was going through a renaissance in the late 1980s, that was under Icahn. I don't recall any such renaissance at the time. I recall one flight STL-SFO on a TWA L1011 in 1989 where part of the interior was wrapped in duct-tape. BTW, what I do recall was TWA jumping for Icahn in preference to Lorenzo and I am not sure that was a great move. Lorenzo at least wanted to be in the airline business, whereas Icahn would have been happy stripping the assets from any company, wings or not.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:13 am

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:

Anyone have a link to 1980s timetables for Pan Am? Departed flights seems to have only the post-2000 reincarnation of Pan Am. I'd love to get refamiliarized with their TATL schedule from JFK from the 1986-1989 period.


Departed Flights has 4 for the 80's: 80/82/85/87

http://www.departedflights.com/timetables2.html

There is also a page for weekly PA JFK departures 1979-1991:

http://www.departedflights.com/PAJFKhub.html


Also Departed Flights has a 1997 PA II timetable which was interesting because that airline actually grew out of the bankrupt assets of Eastern and flew a very EA-like route system outside of no Atlanta. They had merged with Carnival Air Lines which grown fairly large partly because Eastern's collapse left a void for flights to MIA/FLL to fill up Carnival Cruise Ships.

As a south Floridian I can tell you so much of our airline histories are related to Pan Am and Eastern one way or another, even today.


Indeed, that was the link I kept landing on. They are differentiated on the page by different Pan Am logos. Looking at the 1980's timetable, a few things stand out. Looks like MXP was not served at some intervals in the early 1980s. JFK-GIG was daily, but there was no JFK-Sao Paulo service. Brazil's economy was of course different then, as was the world, but GIG has never really been a major business market from the US that I can recall. EZE was served once weekly nonstop. FRA was 2 x daily, which made sense, given its role in the PA network. MAD was not served at least in the Fall 1985 schedule but in 1989 it was. I grew up flying TWA to Europe a lot, but only flew PA sporadically. There was some overlap yes, but TWA seems to have had more to Southern Europe nonstop (ATH, BCN, LIS, MAD). Pan Am of course was bigger to Eastern and Central Europe, and I think served more of Scandinavia than TWA. Have not done a full comparison, as the timetables available are mostly from Fall/Winter periods. Still, fun to look at.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 12:32 am

Cointrin330 wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:

Departed Flights has 4 for the 80's: 80/82/85/87

http://www.departedflights.com/timetables2.html

There is also a page for weekly PA JFK departures 1979-1991:

http://www.departedflights.com/PAJFKhub.html


Also Departed Flights has a 1997 PA II timetable which was interesting because that airline actually grew out of the bankrupt assets of Eastern and flew a very EA-like route system outside of no Atlanta. They had merged with Carnival Air Lines which grown fairly large partly because Eastern's collapse left a void for flights to MIA/FLL to fill up Carnival Cruise Ships.

As a south Floridian I can tell you so much of our airline histories are related to Pan Am and Eastern one way or another, even today.


Indeed, that was the link I kept landing on. They are differentiated on the page by different Pan Am logos. Looking at the 1980's timetable, a few things stand out. Looks like MXP was not served at some intervals in the early 1980s. JFK-GIG was daily, but there was no JFK-Sao Paulo service. Brazil's economy was of course different then, as was the world, but GIG has never really been a major business market from the US that I can recall. EZE was served once weekly nonstop. FRA was 2 x daily, which made sense, given its role in the PA network. MAD was not served at least in the Fall 1985 schedule but in 1989 it was. I grew up flying TWA to Europe a lot, but only flew PA sporadically. There was some overlap yes, but TWA seems to have had more to Southern Europe nonstop (ATH, BCN, LIS, MAD). Pan Am of course was bigger to Eastern and Central Europe, and I think served more of Scandinavia than TWA. Have not done a full comparison, as the timetables available are mostly from Fall/Winter periods. Still, fun to look at.


Regarding Scandinavia in the late 1980s, Pan Am served HEL and ARN from JFK rather consistently, TWA did the same on JFK-ARN and NW tried out of BOS (EG: BOS-CPH.) While not Scandinavia (but close to it) PA flew nonstop JFK-HAM consistently as well. Most of PA's Northern and Eastern Euro routes were done via connections from the FRA hub. AA also started ORD-ARN around this time as well and lasted until the mid-2000s on 767s.

NW also tried MSP-OSL nonstop in the mid-1980s on a 747 but that failed. I guess the high local Norwegian descent population wasn't interested in visiting the homeland or something haha.
 
copper2steel
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:24 am

N649DL wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
I will keep this simple.
Eastern was the only collapse that really impacted travelers and took a while to back fill network wise by other carriers. Pan Am & TWA had been basket cases for years and year. In Pan Am's case having assets to sell at a time of restricted int'l air travel via bilaterals etc to raise funds kept the airline going longer than it should have. Pan Am's purchase of National in 1980 was a disaster. Pan Am and TWA were actually both in horrible financial shape in the early 1970's after the 747 came on line. The route swap and right-sizing of both airline in 1975 ushered in an era of more success for them, but long story short, both had high costs, fundamental network issues and probably were lucky to last as long as they did.

Eastern also always had financial issues but such an important part of air travel domestically especially along the east coast, its downsizing post 1986 and eventual collapse had more of an impact IMO.


TWA was actually doing OK in the late 1980s and was going through a bit of an International renaissance at JFK (and having a massive STL hub through acquiring Ozark in 1986.) Things didn't go south for them until Carl Icahn came along in the early 1990s.

IIRC, Pan Am might've been turning a corner in terms of profitability and getting it's costs in line in circa 1986-1987, but any forward progress was killed off by the Lockerbie crash. Delta invested heavily in Pan Am in the early 1990s and when they decided to pull the plug on PA's funding, they were completely done. Pan Am also did a complete overhaul of it's aging 747 fleet back then, so they weren't complete relics like they were by the time TWA flight 800 occurred in 1996. Pan Am almost merged with Northwest in 1989 and was looking to create a PA-NW-KL alliance (sort of in the same way DL-KL-AF in the late 2000s.) Had that happened, Pan Am's future would've been completely different during the 1990s.

It's still a bit surprising that the US Government let Pan Am die the way they did, but IIRC, Pan Am also made a lot of enemies over the years politically (could be a factor as of why.) Back then the US Government wasn't really in the business of bailing out the airlines either like they did after 9/11 or even during COVID-19.


There's a NYT article from October 27th, 1988 online that talks about TWA and Pan Am posting profits for 3Q 1988. TWA posted an $88 million profit and Pan Am $67.4 million. The article states Pan Am's 3Q success was due to its Northeast shuttle, Pan Am Express operations, and strong passenger traffic.

1988 would be the last year TWA posted an annual profit. Ichan took the company private that fall, which added hundreds of millions of dollars of debt to the airline. And of course Pan Am had the Lockerbie disaster, which just sunk any improvements Pan Am had made up to that point.
 
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Nomadd
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:07 am

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
EA was killed off by one man—Franco Lorenzo. It wasn’t downsized post-1986, the assets were stolen by his CO airline at a fraction of their value.

Frank and Frank.
Frank Borman didn't help. He still owes me money.
 
N649DL
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:17 am

enplaned wrote:
N649DL wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
I will keep this simple.
Eastern was the only collapse that really impacted travelers and took a while to back fill network wise by other carriers. Pan Am & TWA had been basket cases for years and year. In Pan Am's case having assets to sell at a time of restricted int'l air travel via bilaterals etc to raise funds kept the airline going longer than it should have. Pan Am's purchase of National in 1980 was a disaster. Pan Am and TWA were actually both in horrible financial shape in the early 1970's after the 747 came on line. The route swap and right-sizing of both airline in 1975 ushered in an era of more success for them, but long story short, both had high costs, fundamental network issues and probably were lucky to last as long as they did.

Eastern also always had financial issues but such an important part of air travel domestically especially along the east coast, its downsizing post 1986 and eventual collapse had more of an impact IMO.


TWA was actually doing OK in the late 1980s and was going through a bit of an International renaissance at JFK (and having a massive STL hub through acquiring Ozark in 1986.) Things didn't go south for them until Carl Icahn came along in the early 1990s.


Can we at least try to get the basics right? Carl Icahn took over TWA in what year? No, not in the 1990s, but in fact 1985. So if you imagine TWA was going through a renaissance in the late 1980s, that was under Icahn. I don't recall any such renaissance at the time. I recall one flight STL-SFO on a TWA L1011 in 1989 where part of the interior was wrapped in duct-tape. BTW, what I do recall was TWA jumping for Icahn in preference to Lorenzo and I am not sure that was a great move. Lorenzo at least wanted to be in the airline business, whereas Icahn would have been happy stripping the assets from any company, wings or not.


Apologies: Specifically for TWA loosing their footing was regards to the "Karabu Deal" which was under Icahn in the early 1990s (or signed off on it before he resigned:) This and selling the LHR routes really crippled TWA - https://www.businessinsider.com/marc-an ... ine-2014-3
 
rbavfan
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:28 am

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
I will keep this simple.
Eastern was the only collapse that really impacted travelers and took a while to back fill network wise by other carriers. Pan Am & TWA had been basket cases for years and year. In Pan Am's case having assets to sell at a time of restricted int'l air travel via bilaterals etc to raise funds kept the airline going longer than it should have. Pan Am's purchase of National in 1980 was a disaster. Pan Am and TWA were actually both in horrible financial shape in the early 1970's after the 747 came on line. The route swap and right-sizing of both airline in 1975 ushered in an era of more success for them, but long story short, both had high costs, fundamental network issues and probably were lucky to last as long as they did.

Eastern also always had financial issues but such an important part of air travel domestically especially along the east coast, its downsizing post 1986 and eventual collapse had more of an impact IMO.



You forget the other airlines used congress to keep Pan Am from adding domestic operations while the other carries were allowed to expand into Pan Am's international space. TWA went downhill when Carl Icahn bought it to sell off it's assets & pocketed the money. Then walked away after forcing them to bankruptcy & getting rights to sell half their tickets through his travel company. He sold them below cost most times and TWA could not do anything about it. Carl Icahn like Frank Lorenzo should be barred from ever owning or operating an airline.
 
rbavfan
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:40 am

Flyingsottsman wrote:
Why was Pan AM so desperate to have a domestic network within the US, was not their international network not enough for them? I remember they were ( just in my opinion ) along with British Airways the largest international carriers in the world at the time just about any airport in the world you would see a Pan Am tail in. So why was it so important for them to have a domestic network?


Because their rivals that provided domestic feed to keep those international flights full started their own routes. The had feed & PanAm did not. They also kept pressure on preventing PanAm from domestic service. They won!
 
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DLHAM
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:54 am

N649DL wrote:
While not Scandinavia (but close to it) PA flew nonstop JFK-HAM consistently as well.

...

NW also tried MSP-OSL nonstop in the mid-1980s on a 747 but that failed. I guess the high local Norwegian descent population wasn't interested in visiting the homeland or something haha.


Hamburg is almost or kind of Scandinavia :D . Pan Am already served JFK-HAM direct with several routings over the decades until the 70s. In April 1985 they started JFK-HAM nonstop on 747s -- ocassional also 747SPs and L1011s showed up. From 1986 the new "Long range Airbus" A310 was flown on JFK-HAM, with 747 flights in the high summer season. They served JFK-HAM until the very last day of transatlantic operations, then Delta took over the route.
In the 80s/90s also American, Lufthansa, Delta (Atlanta flights started before they took the JFK Route from Pan Am), LTU and Northwest flew between the US and Hamburg.

Northwest Orient started Oslo in 1980, along with Hamburg and Shannon.

NW44/45 LAX-MSP-LGW-HAM and return
NW34/35 MSP-BOS-GLA-CPH/MSP-BOS-SNN-GLA and return
NW38/39 JFK-SNN-GLA and return
NW30/31 MSP-DTW-JFK-OSL-ARN/MSP-DTW-JFK-CPH-ARN and return, from 1981 also on these numbers MSP-DTW-JFK-CPH-HAM and return, JFK changed to EWR some day

That was their Europe flying in 1980.
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dampfnudel
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 6:20 am

I recall flying on Pan Am from JFK to MCO (and back) on a 727 during the 1980’s. Was that a former National route?
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Flyingsottsman
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:49 am

I have heard so much about Frank Lorenzo and Carl Ichan, are they still alive and do they have any thing to do with aviation in the US today? Also I remember in 1983, while on holiday with my Auntie in the US, we saw a Pan Am 727 @ New Orleans, would that have been one of the routes they got from national?
 
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TheFlyingDisk
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:19 am

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
I read somewhere that Pan Am was stunned by how much both the Johnson and Nixon Administrations disliked them, undercutting them on the Trans Pacific Route Case and not allowing them to carry domestic passengers. They made tons of enemies through the years politically.


I did read about this in Skygods. Trippe alienated many politicians (see how mad JFK was when Pan Am announced placing options for Concorde - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuaZ0SkVf-Q), and that management post Trippe were just too blinkered to fix the problem.

Beside the Trans Pacific Route Case, I also believe that the Nixon administration screwed Pan Am when they tried to merge with TWA. I wonder if Pan Am would have lived longer if they managed to merge with TWA, because the two airlines complement each other to a tee.

Flyingsottsman wrote:
I have heard so much about Frank Lorenzo and Carl Ichan, are they still alive and do they have any thing to do with aviation in the US today?
.

Both are still alive. Lorenzo was blackballed by the DoT from running an airline in 1994 and I suppose he never tried again since, while Icahn recently lost $1.6 billion through the sale of his shares in the bankrupt Hertz.
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luckyone
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 1:55 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
OzarkD9S wrote:

Departed Flights has 4 for the 80's: 80/82/85/87

http://www.departedflights.com/timetables2.html

There is also a page for weekly PA JFK departures 1979-1991:

http://www.departedflights.com/PAJFKhub.html


Also Departed Flights has a 1997 PA II timetable which was interesting because that airline actually grew out of the bankrupt assets of Eastern and flew a very EA-like route system outside of no Atlanta. They had merged with Carnival Air Lines which grown fairly large partly because Eastern's collapse left a void for flights to MIA/FLL to fill up Carnival Cruise Ships.

As a south Floridian I can tell you so much of our airline histories are related to Pan Am and Eastern one way or another, even today.


Indeed, that was the link I kept landing on. They are differentiated on the page by different Pan Am logos. Looking at the 1980's timetable, a few things stand out. Looks like MXP was not served at some intervals in the early 1980s. JFK-GIG was daily, but there was no JFK-Sao Paulo service. Brazil's economy was of course different then, as was the world, but GIG has never really been a major business market from the US that I can recall. EZE was served once weekly nonstop. FRA was 2 x daily, which made sense, given its role in the PA network. MAD was not served at least in the Fall 1985 schedule but in 1989 it was. I grew up flying TWA to Europe a lot, but only flew PA sporadically. There was some overlap yes, but TWA seems to have had more to Southern Europe nonstop (ATH, BCN, LIS, MAD). Pan Am of course was bigger to Eastern and Central Europe, and I think served more of Scandinavia than TWA. Have not done a full comparison, as the timetables available are mostly from Fall/Winter periods. Still, fun to look at.

With respect to Brazil, I’m not sure which year you’re looking at but recall that GRU didn’t open until 1985, and Saõ Paolo had only VCP for long haul flights which was far outside of town. Until that time the common practice was for international passenger carriers to serve GIG as their Brazil entry point. Passengers would transfer to domestic flights there.
 
Cointrin330
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:13 pm

luckyone wrote:
Cointrin330 wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:

Also Departed Flights has a 1997 PA II timetable which was interesting because that airline actually grew out of the bankrupt assets of Eastern and flew a very EA-like route system outside of no Atlanta. They had merged with Carnival Air Lines which grown fairly large partly because Eastern's collapse left a void for flights to MIA/FLL to fill up Carnival Cruise Ships.

As a south Floridian I can tell you so much of our airline histories are related to Pan Am and Eastern one way or another, even today.


Indeed, that was the link I kept landing on. They are differentiated on the page by different Pan Am logos. Looking at the 1980's timetable, a few things stand out. Looks like MXP was not served at some intervals in the early 1980s. JFK-GIG was daily, but there was no JFK-Sao Paulo service. Brazil's economy was of course different then, as was the world, but GIG has never really been a major business market from the US that I can recall. EZE was served once weekly nonstop. FRA was 2 x daily, which made sense, given its role in the PA network. MAD was not served at least in the Fall 1985 schedule but in 1989 it was. I grew up flying TWA to Europe a lot, but only flew PA sporadically. There was some overlap yes, but TWA seems to have had more to Southern Europe nonstop (ATH, BCN, LIS, MAD). Pan Am of course was bigger to Eastern and Central Europe, and I think served more of Scandinavia than TWA. Have not done a full comparison, as the timetables available are mostly from Fall/Winter periods. Still, fun to look at.

With respect to Brazil, I’m not sure which year you’re looking at but recall that GRU didn’t open until 1985, and Saõ Paolo had only VCP for long haul flights which was far outside of town. Until that time the common practice was for international passenger carriers to serve GIG as their Brazil entry point. Passengers would transfer to domestic flights there.


Good point, yes. GRU opened only in the mid-1980s.
 
usairways85
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:37 pm

Apologies for the fundamental question, but did these carriers have 5th freedom rights on the expansive international networks 60s-80s? e.g. Pan Am's west Africa network, Delhi-Hong Kong, Bombay-Bangkok, Berlin/London Europe destinations, etc.?
 
FlyingElvii
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Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 2:58 pm

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
FlyingElvii wrote:
SEPilot wrote:
Pan Am failed primarily because it was built by political deals and favoritism by Juan Trippe. In the process he made many friends and enemies in high places. After he retired in 1968 his friends forgot about Pan Am but his enemies didn’t. That is why Pan Am never received a single break during the regulated era, while all other airlines did. Pan Am desperately needed domestic routes, which their chief rival, TWA, had, but they were not going to get them due to the political enmity that existed. That is what led to the disastrous National merger. And then, shortly after that regulation went away. Having been built on the basis of regulation (Juan Trippe had been one of its biggest supporters) Pan Am was probably the airline least able to transform itself to thrive under deregulation. The only surprising thing is that they lasted as long as they did.

The "Juan Trippe" method, also known as the "Buy a couple of Senators Business Plan", kept PA in the money, until it didn't.
That started to end in the mid 70's, under Ford, but accelerated as dereg got closer, and PA's pet Senators passed/retired.

PA was as much a Fly-the-Flag operation and jobs program, as it was an airline. Both PA and TWA were crippled with decades old-employment agreements that new entrants didn't have to deal with, both international and domestic. A for instance would be TWA's employment req for it's Athens rights. They were required to maintain 400 employees in Greece, to maintain landing rights, some 800+ in London and Paris, etc.


I noticed this as a kid at Heathrow. I saw tons of Pan Am and TWA employees just standing around with little to nothing to do unlike what we would see at US airports. It was stunning to me. This helps explains what that was. Thanks.


To meet the required employment levels, they had city ticket offices (sometimes several), local telephone reservation centers, desks in hotels, etc. A lot of that was post-war job programs. Most all of the legacy European airlines also had to endure a similar political employment system, Sabena comes to mind as a primary example.
 
MIAFLLPBIFlyer
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:04 pm

usairways85 wrote:
Apologies for the fundamental question, but did these carriers have 5th freedom rights on the expansive international networks 60s-80s? e.g. Pan Am's west Africa network, Delhi-Hong Kong, Bombay-Bangkok, Berlin/London Europe destinations, etc.?


Depended on the route pair. PA could carry local traffic on some LHR-Europe routes and not on others. It was on country-by-county basis.

Pan Am could carry local traffic on any Berlin flight. TXL might as well have been a US airport in terms of traffic rights. It essentially functioned as one.

I recall local traffic was allowed on FRA-DEL when I flew it as a kid on PA.
 
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smithbs
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Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 3:04 pm

Phosphorus wrote:
on Pan Am's demise specifically, it's hard to beat the book "Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am".
Author put a lot of research into it. In addition to basic ingredients to any corporate failure, like mismanagement and hubris ("ahh! Arrogance and stupidity, in a single package! Very efficient" -- Londo Mollari), there were objective difficulties in the position of Pan Am as "The chosen instrument" of US Govt.
Basically, it was a death of a thousand cuts, and just a few areas, where Pan Am was suffering:
- Pan Am was banned from flying US domestic, until after deregulation of 1978
- Pan Am spent a lot of time, money and blood of its crews, pioneering transoceanic and transcontinental flying. All of the IP they've built up in the process came into shared use / public domain, to be picked up by their competitors, "Domestics". Those same "Domestics", in the meantime, spent their money on crew training centers, CRM, simulators, other long-term, in-house goodies.
- Pan Am had no real political clout, once its champion, Juan Trippe, resigned from CEO position. As a result, any route decision (weaponized by politicians in 1960's) went against it. The basic idea was "US domestic market will be segmented into political domains": American's role will be lobbied by Texas politicians, Eastern and National were lobbied by Floridan ones, Georgia politicos were doing Delta's bidding; on the other hand, international is a free-for-all, a shared resource; the fact that Pan Am was already flying there was actually a nuisance; and no, New York politicians were not keen to do Pan Am's bidding
- closer to the end, Pan Am's unofficial "flag carrier" role began to hurt it real bad. Pan Am was a target to terror attacks for a long time, and for many, flying Pan Am was like putting a bulls-eye on themselves. Lockerbie was devastating

Of more self-harm, was the "urge to merge" of General Seawell, at that time CEO. It made sure they overpaid for National, and actually didn't get much of it -- as old National route structure was largely dismantled in the acquisition.
And on and on...


:bigthumbsup: I have this book on my shelf. A very good read for anyone wanting to learn about Pan Am. I also have "Grounded", the book about Eastern's collapse. Also a good read.
 
User avatar
deltacto
Posts: 473
Joined: Thu Mar 05, 2009 5:49 pm

Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 4:04 pm

dampfnudel wrote:
I recall flying on Pan Am from JFK to MCO (and back) on a 727 during the 1980’s. Was that a former National route?



Flyingsottsman wrote:
Also I remember in 1983, while on holiday with my Auntie in the US, we saw a Pan Am 727 @ New Orleans, would that have been one of the routes they got from national?



Pan Am did not fly to New Orleans or Orlando prior to the National merger

PA route map from 1979:

http://www.departedflights.com/PA042979.html

Combined PA/NA route map from 1980:

http://www.departedflights.com/PA042780.html
 
N649DL
Posts: 931
Joined: Sat Aug 25, 2018 10:21 pm

Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 10:45 pm

DLHAM wrote:
N649DL wrote:
While not Scandinavia (but close to it) PA flew nonstop JFK-HAM consistently as well.

...

NW also tried MSP-OSL nonstop in the mid-1980s on a 747 but that failed. I guess the high local Norwegian descent population wasn't interested in visiting the homeland or something haha.


Hamburg is almost or kind of Scandinavia :D . Pan Am already served JFK-HAM direct with several routings over the decades until the 70s. In April 1985 they started JFK-HAM nonstop on 747s -- ocassional also 747SPs and L1011s showed up. From 1986 the new "Long range Airbus" A310 was flown on JFK-HAM, with 747 flights in the high summer season. They served JFK-HAM until the very last day of transatlantic operations, then Delta took over the route.
In the 80s/90s also American, Lufthansa, Delta (Atlanta flights started before they took the JFK Route from Pan Am), LTU and Northwest flew between the US and Hamburg.

Northwest Orient started Oslo in 1980, along with Hamburg and Shannon.

NW44/45 LAX-MSP-LGW-HAM and return
NW34/35 MSP-BOS-GLA-CPH/MSP-BOS-SNN-GLA and return
NW38/39 JFK-SNN-GLA and return
NW30/31 MSP-DTW-JFK-OSL-ARN/MSP-DTW-JFK-CPH-ARN and return, from 1981 also on these numbers MSP-DTW-JFK-CPH-HAM and return, JFK changed to EWR some day

That was their Europe flying in 1980.


Hah! I guess, HAM is the largest city in Germany closest to Denmark so why not? When did NW move their TATL ops out of EWR from JFK? I can't find anything on this.

I need to get over to HAM and explore my distant ancestry out there and also DUB and ARN. That's gonna be a long and expensive flight from AUS where I live :-(
 
SunsetLimited
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:20 pm

Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:05 pm

deltacto wrote:
dampfnudel wrote:
I recall flying on Pan Am from JFK to MCO (and back) on a 727 during the 1980’s. Was that a former National route?



Flyingsottsman wrote:
Also I remember in 1983, while on holiday with my Auntie in the US, we saw a Pan Am 727 @ New Orleans, would that have been one of the routes they got from national?



Pan Am did not fly to New Orleans or Orlando prior to the National merger

PA route map from 1979:

http://www.departedflights.com/PA042979.html

Combined PA/NA route map from 1980:

http://www.departedflights.com/PA042780.html


Pan Am flew from New Orleans to Central America from the 1940's until around 1977. They returned once the merger with NA went through.
Spread hope like fire.
 
FlyingElvii
Posts: 782
Joined: Wed Dec 27, 2017 10:53 pm

Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:22 pm

MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
N649DL wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
I will keep this simple.
Eastern was the only collapse that really impacted travelers and took a while to back fill network wise by other carriers. Pan Am & TWA had been basket cases for years and year. In Pan Am's case having assets to sell at a time of restricted int'l air travel via bilaterals etc to raise funds kept the airline going longer than it should have. Pan Am's purchase of National in 1980 was a disaster. Pan Am and TWA were actually both in horrible financial shape in the early 1970's after the 747 came on line. The route swap and right-sizing of both airline in 1975 ushered in an era of more success for them, but long story short, both had high costs, fundamental network issues and probably were lucky to last as long as they did.

Eastern also always had financial issues but such an important part of air travel domestically especially along the east coast, its downsizing post 1986 and eventual collapse had more of an impact IMO.


TWA was actually doing OK in the late 1980s and was going through a bit of an International renaissance at JFK (and having a massive STL hub through acquiring Ozark in 1986.) Things didn't go south for them until Carl Icahn came along in the early 1990s.

IIRC, Pan Am might've been turning a corner in terms of profitability and getting it's costs in line in circa 1986-1987, but any forward progress was killed off by the Lockerbie crash. Delta invested heavily in Pan Am in the early 1990s and when they decided to pull the plug on PA's funding, they were completely done. Pan Am also did a complete overhaul of it's aging 747 fleet back then, so they weren't complete relics like they were by the time TWA flight 800 occurred in 1996. Pan Am almost merged with Northwest in 1989 and was looking to create a PA-NW-KL alliance (sort of in the same way DL-KL-AF in the late 2000s.) Had that happened, Pan Am's future would've been completely different during the 1990s.

It's still a bit surprising that the US Government let Pan Am die the way they did, but IIRC, Pan Am also made a lot of enemies over the years politically (could be a factor as of why.) Back then the US Government wasn't really in the business of bailing out the airlines either like they did after 9/11 or even during COVID-19.



I read somewhere that Pan Am was stunned by how much both the Johnson and Nixon Administrations disliked them, undercutting them on the Trans Pacific Route Case and not allowing them to carry domestic passengers. They made tons of enemies through the years politically.

Also in hindsight it was probably good for the US traveler to get Pan Am and TWA out of the way as their service levels were terrible by the late 1980's.

Delta, American and United all were more able to be competitive with European flag carriers in the 80's and 90's. Obviously since 9/11 the industry has changed and that logic doesn't hold water anymore, but throughout the 90's it was better to have UA and AA at Heathrow for the American traveler and DL throughout much of the rest of Europe and India than Pan Am or TWA. The standard of service had slipped that far.

TWA had much improved the service levels by the early-mid 90’s. Ambassador Class domestic was only beaten by the old Alaska First Service, that no longer exists. In addition, STL had become a hub of choice for cross country connections, rarely subject to the Kind of delays seen at ORD or ATL at the time. (Though when it did back up, STL delays could be really bad. The runway configuration made recoveries difficult.)

But, they could just never recover from the issues of the 80’s. NYC bled money, but was the prestige of the whole airline.
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 1925
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Tue Jun 09, 2020 11:47 pm

enplaned wrote:
N649DL wrote:
MIAFLLPBIFlyer wrote:
I will keep this simple.
Eastern was the only collapse that really impacted travelers and took a while to back fill network wise by other carriers. Pan Am & TWA had been basket cases for years and year. In Pan Am's case having assets to sell at a time of restricted int'l air travel via bilaterals etc to raise funds kept the airline going longer than it should have. Pan Am's purchase of National in 1980 was a disaster. Pan Am and TWA were actually both in horrible financial shape in the early 1970's after the 747 came on line. The route swap and right-sizing of both airline in 1975 ushered in an era of more success for them, but long story short, both had high costs, fundamental network issues and probably were lucky to last as long as they did.

Eastern also always had financial issues but such an important part of air travel domestically especially along the east coast, its downsizing post 1986 and eventual collapse had more of an impact IMO.


TWA was actually doing OK in the late 1980s and was going through a bit of an International renaissance at JFK (and having a massive STL hub through acquiring Ozark in 1986.) Things didn't go south for them until Carl Icahn came along in the early 1990s.


Can we at least try to get the basics right? Carl Icahn took over TWA in what year? No, not in the 1990s, but in fact 1985. So if you imagine TWA was going through a renaissance in the late 1980s, that was under Icahn. I don't recall any such renaissance at the time. I recall one flight STL-SFO on a TWA L1011 in 1989 where part of the interior was wrapped in duct-tape. BTW, what I do recall was TWA jumping for Icahn in preference to Lorenzo and I am not sure that was a great move. Lorenzo at least wanted to be in the airline business, whereas Icahn would have been happy stripping the assets from any company, wings or not.


The only real distinction TWA had by the time Icahn took over was that in the Summer of 1988, TW carried more passengers across the Atlantic than any other carrier at the time. Financially though, TWA was not in good shape.
 
klm617
Posts: 4888
Joined: Sat Jul 04, 2015 8:57 pm

Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Wed Jun 10, 2020 1:24 am

N649DL wrote:
DLHAM wrote:
N649DL wrote:
While not Scandinavia (but close to it) PA flew nonstop JFK-HAM consistently as well.

...

NW also tried MSP-OSL nonstop in the mid-1980s on a 747 but that failed. I guess the high local Norwegian descent population wasn't interested in visiting the homeland or something haha.


Hamburg is almost or kind of Scandinavia :D . Pan Am already served JFK-HAM direct with several routings over the decades until the 70s. In April 1985 they started JFK-HAM nonstop on 747s -- ocassional also 747SPs and L1011s showed up. From 1986 the new "Long range Airbus" A310 was flown on JFK-HAM, with 747 flights in the high summer season. They served JFK-HAM until the very last day of transatlantic operations, then Delta took over the route.
In the 80s/90s also American, Lufthansa, Delta (Atlanta flights started before they took the JFK Route from Pan Am), LTU and Northwest flew between the US and Hamburg.

Northwest Orient started Oslo in 1980, along with Hamburg and Shannon.

NW44/45 LAX-MSP-LGW-HAM and return
NW34/35 MSP-BOS-GLA-CPH/MSP-BOS-SNN-GLA and return
NW38/39 JFK-SNN-GLA and return
NW30/31 MSP-DTW-JFK-OSL-ARN/MSP-DTW-JFK-CPH-ARN and return, from 1981 also on these numbers MSP-DTW-JFK-CPH-HAM and return, JFK changed to EWR some day

That was their Europe flying in 1980.


Hah! I guess, HAM is the largest city in Germany closest to Denmark so why not? When did NW move their TATL ops out of EWR from JFK? I can't find anything on this.

I need to get over to HAM and explore my distant ancestry out there and also DUB and ARN. That's gonna be a long and expensive flight from AUS where I live :-(


They never moved their flights from JFK to EWR but they also operated MIA to ARN.
the truth does matter, guys. too bad it's often quite subjective. the truth is beyond the mere facts and figures. it's beyond good and bad, right and wrong...
 
User avatar
DLHAM
Posts: 486
Joined: Sat Dec 31, 2016 1:10 am

Re: Why did Pan Am disappear?

Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:04 am

klm617 wrote:
They never moved their flights from JFK to EWR but they also operated MIA to ARN.


Image

This 1983 route map says Newark, I also found another one from 1986 that also says Newark. But in fact 1980 schedules say JFK.
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F9Animal
Posts: 4414
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2004 7:13 am

Re: Why did Pan Am dissapeared?

Wed Jun 10, 2020 2:05 am

Flyingsottsman wrote:
Why was Pan AM so desperate to have a domestic network within the US, was not their international network not enough for them? I remember they were ( just in my opinion ) along with British Airways the largest international carriers in the world at the time just about any airport in the world you would see a Pan Am tail in. So why was it so important for them to have a domestic network?


One simple answer. Deregulation. Pan Am knew the others were coming, and saw a big opportunity in getting a domestic network. There is no way Pan Am was going to survive just on its international route map. I always wondered if Republic or Eastern would have been a good merge. Or even US Air? Sigh.... So many "what ifs."
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