The Curator’s Choice 46

Pan American Airways – an extremely short history.
Sikorsky S-42-A – Boeing 377 Stratocruiser – Boeing 747-100

In its day Pan American Airways was one of the worlds leading airlines and perhaps the most well known with its unique ‘Pan Am’ logo. It began in 1927 flying between Florida and Cuba and expanded rapidly in the 1930s with a series of innovative flying boats and routes that extended into South America and across the Pacific to China and New Zealand. After the war it became the epitome of modern, sophisticated air travel and introduced the world to jet travel with its Boeing 707s and 747s. In 1970 it flew eleven million passengers to 86 countries in every continent except Antarctica.

It’s decline began with the deregulation of United States air transport in 1978 when new and more efficient airlines began eating into its domination. Rising competition forced it to gradually sell off its assets and the airline was declared bankrupt in 1991.


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