Pan American Airlines in History

Historical Events

Historic Event

1931-11-17 Charles Lindbergh inaugurates Pan Am service from Cuba to South America in the Sikorsky flying boat "American Clipper"

  • 1936-04-18 Pan-Am Clipper begins regular passenger flights from San Francisco to Honolulu
  • 1937-04-28 1st commercial flight across Pacific operated by Pan Am
  • 1937-12-29 Pan Am starts service between San Francisco and Auckland, New Zealand
  • 1939-05-20 1st regular transatlantic airmail (Pan Am: NY to Marsseille France)
  • 1939-06-24 Pan Am's 1st US to England flight
  • 1939-06-28 Pan Am opens southern route transatlantic air service (Dixie Clipper)
  • 1942-01-06 Pan American Airlines becomes the first commercial airline to schedule a flight around the world ("Pacific Clipper").
  • 1947-01-06 Pan American Airlines offers a round-the-world-ticket, the first commercial airline to do so
  • 1947-06-17 Pan Am Airways' 1st round-the-world civil air service leaves NYC
  • 1951-02-25 1st Pan American Games opens (Buenos Aires Argentina)
  • 1956-10-15 First plane to land safely on water - Pan Am Flight 6 San Francisco to Honolulu, all 24 passengers and 7 crew survive
  • 1959-10-10 Pan Am begins regular flights around the world
  • 1963-12-08 Pan Am Flight 214 crashes outside Elkton, Maryland with 81 killed
  • 1966-04-13 Pan Am places $525,000,000 order for 25 Boeing 747s
  • 1970-01-22 1st commercial Boeing 747 flight, Pan American World Airways flies from New York City to London in 6½ hours
  • 1974-04-27 Pan Am 707 crashes into mountains of Bali, killing 107
  • 1976-04-26 Pan Am begins non-stop flights NYC-Tokyo

Tenerife Airport Disaster

1977-03-27 583 die in aviation's worst ever disaster when two Boeing 747s collide at Tenerife airport in Spain

  • 1977-05-16 5 die as NY Airway helicopter topples on Pan Am building in NYC
  • 1982-07-09 Pan Am Boeing 727 crashes in Kenner La, killing 153
  • 1986-09-05 Hijacking of aircraft Pan Am 73 at Karachi airport, Pakistan, 20 passengers killed
  • 1988-12-21 Lockerbie disaster: A terrorist bomb destroys Pan Am Flight 103 mid-air, over Scotland; kills all 259 passengers and crew on board, and 11 people on the ground [1]
  • 1991-11-14 American and British authorities announce indictments against two Libyan intelligence officials in connection with the downing of the Pan Am Flight 103
  • 1991-12-04 Pan American World Airways ceased operations
  • 1998-08-24 The Netherlands is selected as the site for the trial of the two Libyan suspects of the 1988 Pan Am bombing.
  • 1999-04-05 Two Libyans suspected of bringing down Pan Am flight 103 in 1988 are handed over for eventual trial in the Netherlands.
  • 2001-01-31 In the Netherlands a Scottish court convicts a Libyan and acquits another for their part in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 which crashed into Lockerbie, Scotland in 1988.
  • 2003-09-12 The United Nations lifts sanctions against Libya after that country agreed to accept responsibility and recompense the families of victims in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

Famous Birthdays

  • 1899-02-20 Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman and heir (Pan Am Airways), born in Roslyn, New York (d. 1992)
  • 1899-06-27 Juan Trippe, American airline pioneer and entrepreneur (Pan Am founder), born in Sea Bright, New Jersey (d. 1981)
  • 1912-01-11 Roger Lewis, aviation exec (Lockheed, Curtiss Wright, Pan Am)
  • 1952-04-01 Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi, Tripoli Libya, bomber (Pan Am 103), (d. 2012)

Famous Deaths

  • 1981-04-03 Juan Trippe, American airline pioneer and entrepreneur (Pan Am founder), dies at 81
  • 1987-11-12 Roger Lewis, aviation exec (Lockheed, C Wright, Pan Am), dies at 75
  • 1992-12-13 Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney, American businessman and heir (Pan Am Airways), dies at 93
  • 2012-05-20 Abdel Basset Ali Al-Megrahi, convicted bomber (Pan Am 103), dies from prostate cancer at 60