PanAm in talks to be airborne

Pan American World Airways, the airline that filed for bankruptcy in the US yesterday, is in discussions for refinancing to put the carrier back in the air.

"We are in discussion with interested parties," Chief Executive Officer David Banmiller said, after a hearing in a bankruptcy court in Miami.

It ceased all operations yesterday, stranding hundreds of passengers in New York and at its home-base of Miami.

Passengers arriving for flights yesterday were greeted by signs informing them of the cancellations and instructions on obtaining refunds. The airline carried about 5,000 passengers daily to 14 cities.

With its sky-blue logo and lettering, Pan Am will once again be absent from the skies. The latest version of Pan Am was created in 1996 as a domestic regional airline. Its owners and managers were relying in part on public goodwill towards a brand that evoked the pioneering days of flight.

Unfortunately, Pan Am also has one much darker association - with the 1988 Lockerbie disaster in Scotland. The tragedy contributed to the demise of the original Pan American which finally went out of business in 1991.

Aviation analysts yesterday said the carrier's main mistake was trying to establish itself as a major US airline, with cross-continent routes, too quickly. Pan Am was offering luxury service in wide-body Airbus aircraft, while trying to keep costs down to those of discount rivals.

The corporate parent remains alive, however, and "will continue to seek outside sources of financing, or a merger, to attempt to resuscitate the airline in the near future", a statement said.

Only a week ago, Pan Am attempted to staunch losses by grounding two Airbus aircraft and lying off 225 staff. It let go 550 workers last September when it acquired Carnival Air, a no-frills Miami carrier. Pan Am had hoped to gain sufficient critical mass with Carnival to compete better with rivals.

Before the bankruptcy announcement, shares in Pan Am were already at a paltry $0.75 (45p), compared with a high of $13.375, reached on 27 September 1996, one day after the carrier went public.

While industry consultants noted that US airlines have often gone into bankruptcy and re-emerged later - including Continental and TWA - there was scant optimism that the Pan Am planes would be in the air again in the near future.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Money & Business

Recruitment Genius: Digital Optimisation Executive - Marketing

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The UK's fastest growing, multi...

Recruitment Genius: Financial Reporting Manager

£70000 - £90000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Financial Reporting Manager i...

Recruitment Genius: Payments Operations Assistant

£23000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They win lots of awards for the...

Recruitment Genius: Telephone Debt Negotiator

£13500 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This nationwide enforcement com...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific