Pan American World Airways

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Pan American World Airways, commonly known as Pan Am, was the principal United States international air carrier from the late 1920s until its collapse on December 4, 1991. Founded in 1927 as a scheduled air mail and passenger service operating between Florida (Key West, and later Miami) 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, and computerized reservation systems. Identified by its blue globe logo and the use of the word "Clipper" in aircraft names and call signs, the airline was a cultural icon of the 20th century and the unofficial flag carrier of the United States.[1]




Pan American Airways Incorporated was founded on March 14, 1927, by Major Henry H. "Hap" Arnold and partners.[2] Their shell company was able to obtain the U.S. mail delivery contract to Cuba, but lacked the physical assets to do the job. On June 2, 1927, Juan Trippe formed the Aviation Corporation of America with the backing of powerful and politically-connected financiers who included Cornelius Vanderbilt Whitney and W. Averell Harriman, and raised $250,000 in startup capital from the sale of stock. [3] Their operation had the all-important landing rights for Havana, having acquired a small airline established in 1926 by John K. Montgomery and Richard B. Bevier as a seaplane service from Key West, Florida to Havana, and carried mail over the route for the first time on October 19, 1927.[citation needed]

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