Pan American Airways Plans Resurrection

Pan American Airways, the nostalgic international carrier that touched the lives of millions of passengers around the world including the Philippines, may be resurrected.

Image Source: World Airline News
According to a report from World Airline News, New York based Pan American Airways Global Holdings Incorporated, the parent holding company of the six Pan American brands, is planning to revive the Pan Am brand with the launch of a new carrier.

If the plan is successful, it would be the fourth reincarnation of Pan American since the carrier filed for bankruptcy and ceased operations in December of 1991. Earlier this month, the "new" Pan American Airways revealed that it had selected the Boeing 737-800 aircraft for its planned launch of flights early this upcoming summer. In March, the airline initiated discussions with an undisclosed lessor that would be able to support Pan Am's growth strategy in the southern tier markets.

The new Pan American intends to restore the top flight level of service that was previously enjoyed by many passengers worldwide. However, the airline plans to meet those same customer expectations under a 21st century business model. Pan American recently began hiring crew including pilots and flight attendants in preparation for its launch in early to mid-summer of this year. But no routes have been announced yet.

The Philippines enjoys a very special relationship with Pan American Airways. The relationship in terms of flights dates back to 1935.

Prior to 1935, Pan American established plans to connect the United States of America with China. Pan Am also wanted to reach the Philippines by air. As an American outpost in the Far East, the Philippines was of significant importance and a priority to serve through the new and faster means of air transportation.

california clipper pacific clipper
Image Source: Philippine History Blog
Pan American deployed the "China Clipper," a Martin M-130 four-engined flying boat on the first commercial transpacific air route from San Francisco to Manila in November of 1935.  Each was built by the Glenn L. Martin Company for $417,000. As runways were expensive during that era, the aircraft was equipped with large pontoons so that Pam Am could land in the ocean. The first journey took 59 hours and 48 minutes of travelling time flying via Honolulu, Midway Island, Wake Island, and Guam. 

Pan Am later pioneered the first scheduled around-the-world airline flight in June 1947. Manila was included as a stop along the weekly route operated by a DC-4 aircraft. In 1960, the service was upgraded and operated by a Boeing 707 aircraft until 1971 when the Boeing 747 aircraft took over. Manila, along with a number of other Pan American destinations were later terminated in the 1980's as the airline began to experience financial problems. 

In the 1960's Pan American produced a documentary entitled, "New Horizons: The Philippines," directed by Harry Coleman and narrated in German to showcase the beauty of the Philippines aboard PanAm. The video recently went viral and highlighted the stark contrast between the Philippines of the present day and the Philippines of the 1960's.


While it is unlikely that Pan American Airways will be seen in the Philippines any time soon, the country's love affair with Pan American Airways still lives on at the Clipper Hotel of Manila, which pays tribute to the historic trans-pacific Clipper flights operated by Pan Am in the 1930's. 

3 comments:

  1. This never was and never will be Pan Am. From wikipedia.org - In 2012, Pan American Airways Global Holdings was incorporated. This is the sixth attempt to resurrect the Pan Am brand. The new airline plans to offer both domestic and international service, branded under the auspices of Pan American Global Airways, and initially is planning a main hub facility situated in Atlanta, Georgia.

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  2. This Airline never took off !!

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