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My love of all things aviation goes back to my first flight as an infant-in-arms at 12 months of age. There have been many in my family who have worked in the field of aviation from my grandfather (in Miami who worked for Pan Am for years) to my uncle who was a pilot for many many years and even my brother in law! I had early hopes of a career in aviation as well, but somehow dyslexia and altimeters don’t always make nice together (that would be such a fun announcement to make over the PA).
My grandfather worked for Pan American World Airways. The trans-Atlantic routes purchased by Delta, this month in 1991, represented the largest acquisition of flight routes in airline history at the time, and these were historic routes. Pan Am had been the first airline to offer scheduled service across the Atlantic in 1939.
Pan Am enjoyed a lot of firsts.
- 1927 – First U.S. airline to operate land aircraft over water on a regularly-scheduled basis.
- 1947 – First airline to operate a scheduled round-the-world service.
- 1962 – First airline to develop a global computer reservations system, named PANAMAC.
- 1970 – First airline to operate the Boeing 747 widebody jet in regularly scheduled service.
Interestingly, Pan Am had previously sold its trans-Pacific routes to United. Since Pan Am was, for much of its lifetime, the principal international air carrier for the US, it was as familiar a brand abroad as Coca-Cola.
Did you ever get to fly Pan Am? Any fun stories to share? Please do so in the comment section below if you do – René