Some Crisis Are too big to recover from
Roll No. 23
Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the
principal and largest international air carrier in the United States from 1927 until
its collapse on December 4, 1991.
Founded in 1927 as a scheduled air mail and passenger service operating
between Key West, Florida, and Havana, Cuba.
The airline became a major company credited with many innovations that
shaped the international airline industry, including the widespread use of jet
aircraft, jumbo jets.
Identified by its blue globe logo, and the white pilot uniform caps, the airline
was a cultural icon of the 20th century.
. During most of the jet era, Pan Am's flagship terminal was
the Worldport located at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York
First Computerized reservation : Pan Am commissioned IBM to build
PANAMAC, a large computer that booked airline and hotel reservations, which
was installed in 1964.
The airline also built Worldport, a terminal building at John F. Kennedy
Airport in New York which was distinguished by its elliptical, four-acre
(16,000 m²) roof.
Pan Am at its peak :
At its peak in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Pan Am advertised under the
slogan, the "World's Most Experienced Airline“.
It carried 6.7 million passengers in 1966, and by 1968, its 150 jets flew to 86
countries on every continent except for Antarctica.
During that period, the airline was profitable and its cash reserves totaled
$1 billion .
Pan Am also owned the InterContinental Hotel chain .
On September 6, 1970, two men hijacked Pan Am flight 93, a Boeing 747 en
route from Amsterdam to New York.
On December 17, 1973 five Palestinian terrorists bombed Pan Am flight 110 while
passengers boarded , killing 30 people.
On July 9, 1982 Clipper Defiance, a Boeing 727 crashed minutes after takeoff
from New Orleans Airport in the worst accident in aviation history. All 145
passengers and crew members perished, as well as eight people on the ground .
On August 11, 1982 Pan Am flight 830, was bombed over the Pacific Ocean
killing one passenger before safely landing in Honolulu.
Pan Am flight 73 : On September 5, 1986 Pan Am flight 73, was taken over by
hijackers while on a scheduled stop in Karachi. The flight never departed Karachi,
but 20 people were killed.
Pan Am Flight 103 : On December 21, 1988 Pan Am flight 103 flying
from London Heathrow Airport to New York John F. Kennedy Airport, was blown
up and crashed on Lockerbie, Scotland when an explosive was detonated in its
forward cargo hold. The main body of the plain carried on for 13 miles before
coming to ground in the small Scottish village of Lockerbie. The total search
area spanned 845 square miles and debris turned up as far as 80 miles from
Lockerbie. . A total of 270 people lost their lives, including 11 in Lockerbie. One
witness told television interviewers ‘the sky was actually raining fire.’
The Pan Am 103 disaster was the final blow to airline’s reputation and trust among
the passengers world over.
The airlines lost basic trust of security in its customers.
People started associating Pan Am as a major target for terrorists.
Despite the company’s constant promises of commitment to increasing its
airline’s security, the public was simply not willing to fly with Pan Am anymore.
Ultimately the company stood helpless to reinforce the diminishing relation
with its customers and people in general.
After three years of flying with empty seats since Pan Am flight 103 disaster , in
1991 the company went bankrupt and shut down.
Some crises are too big to recover from. Pan Am handled the
Lockerbie disaster as best as it could, but the decline in public
confidence proved too much leading to ultimately shutting
down of the airlines.