web-catalog        Post DeRegulation Air Mail First Flights         Pan American World Airways


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Page US028PanAM (Revised 01/29/2008)

Background: The Airline Deregulation Act took effect of December 1, 1978. The main purpose of the Act was to remove government control from commercial aviation and expose the passenger airline industry to market forces. This Act changed the face of civil aviation in the US. Air Mail would continue to be carried by Air Carriers but the old system of CAM and FAM routes would evolve into Air Mail flown by individual US airlines to both domestic and foreign destinations.

        On June 2, 1927 Juan Trippe formed an airline, "Aviation Corporation of America" with two allies. Sonny Whitney and John Hambleton were directors and Juan Trippe was in charge of operations. In order to procure a route to Cuba, the airline merged with two others to form Pan American Airways.

        Trippe became president and general manager. Through his connections he obtained the follow-on FAM contract from the federal government to fly mail from Key West to Camp Colombia, Havana Cuba. Trippe had bought two Fokker planes and had a ground crew preparing an airport at Meacham Field in Key West FL. He had a deadline with the government to begin the service. Although two runways had been completed, heavy rain had been falling for two days and the airport became a swamp.

        To meet his contractual deadline, Trippe decided to charter a seaplane to make the flight. He talked pilot Cy Caldwell into making the flight with "La Nina" a Fairchild FC-2 floatplane that Cy was flying for the West Indian Aerial Express. On October 19, 1927 La Niņa, piloted by Cy Caldwell and chartered by Trippe, took off from Key West landing at Camp Colombia, Havana Cuba 1H 20M later. Cy took his place in history making the first ever flight of Pan American Airways.

Boeing 727SP

PA-F1 790202 New York NY-Dhahran Saudi Arabia Pan American World Airways J Polson $3.00
PA-F1f 790202 New York NY-Dhahran Saudi Arabia Pan American World Airways J Polson $3.00
PA-F1u 790202 United Nations NY-Dhahran Saudi Arabia Pan American World Airways J Polson $4.50

        The demise of Pan American World Airways began in 1986 when it sold its Pacific operations to United Aircraft.

        The demise of Pan American World Airways continued in November 1990 when it sold its Intra-German routes to Lufthansa. Pan Am filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on January 9, 1991.

        The break-up of Pan American World Airways continued in April 1991 when it sold its London routes to United aircraft.

        The final break-up of Pan American World Airways took place between November and December 1991 when it sold its Frankfurt hub to Delta Air Lines. Pan American World Airways ceased operations on December 4, 1991.

        In 1996 efforts were made to resurrect Pan Am by Martin H Shugrue financed by the Frost Hannah Mergers Group and Pan Am began flying again on September 26, 1996. Pan Am acquired the assets of Carnival Airlines but sadly on February 27, 1998 Pan Am ceased all operations.

        In 1998 a third effort was made to ressurect Pan Am when Guilford Transportation Industries acquired the right to the previous Pan Am. On October 7, 1999 scheduled flight service was inaugurated but was finally relinquished on November 1, 2004.


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