Remembering Pan Am

I have fond memories of Pan American World Airways (1927-1991). Pan Am was the unofficial flag carrier of the United States. In 1970, it carried 11 million passengers to 86 countries worldwide. Pan Am has an important list of firsts to its credit, including:

  • First U.S. airline to operate permanent international air service (Key West, Florida—Havana, Cuba) (1927)
  • First airline to develop and employ long-range weather forecasting (1935)
  • First airline with scheduled transatlantic mail and passenger services (1939)
  • First airline to complete a round-the-world flight (1942)
  • First airline to operate a scheduled round-the-world service (1947)
  • Pan Am’s Boeing 707 Clipper America flies the first scheduled transatlantic service of a U.S.-built jet (1958)
  • First airline to fly the Boeing 747 widebody jet in scheduled service (1970)

Business Insider has an 11-minute video chronicling Pan Am’s rise and fall:

I remember being a member of Pan Am’s “First Moon Flights Club” which was a waiting list for future flights to the moon, but the company sadly declared bankruptcy in 1991.

I still miss Pan Am. No airline today has the prestige of Pan Am.


United Expanding in Denver

AirlineGeeks reports that United plans to expand the number of flights from its Colorado hub from its present 500 flights per day to as many as 700 by 2025. Over the past five years, United has added more than 100 flights from Denver. United also plans to add 1,000 jobs in its Denver hub in coming years.

AirlineGeeks is my favorite source of aviation news.


Biggest Airlines – A Decade of Change

It is interesting to see the airlines that have grown and declined over the last decade. Measured by scheduled seats, OAG reports that American Airlines is the largest airline in the world beating out Delta, which held the top spot in 2010. Even so, Delta’s scheduled seats grew by 20% from 2010 to 2019.

Other items of interest:

  • There are four US carriers in the top ten: American (AA), Delta (DL), Southwest (WN) and United (UA). US Airways and Continental have been merged and are no longer flying.
  • China holds three spots on the top ten list: China Southern Airlines (CZ), China Eastern Airlines (MU) and Air China (CA).
  • The largest non-US carrier is Ryanair (FR), based in Ireland. Ryanair is now number 5 on the list having risen from number 7 in 2010.
  • Turkish Airways (TK) is now the tenth largest airline and easyJet (U2) based in the UK is number eight.
  • Lufthansa (LH), one of my favorite airlines, is no longer on the list.
Source: OAG

Adria Airways Files for Bankruptcy

On September 30, 2019, Slovenian airline Adria Airways filed for bankruptcy and canceled all flights. I flew Adria from Frankfurt to Ljubljana on August 31, 2019 and now the whole airline is gone. Even the airline’s website is down. Not even a goodbye or a message to passengers.

On September 30, 2019, Slovenian airline Adria Airways filed for bankruptcy and canceled all flights.

Here today, gone tomorrow.

You can see my photos of Slovenia here. Slovenia is both friendly and beautiful.