Gulf War, which began in August 1990,
brought transatlantic air traffic to a
1990, the airline sold its profitable
London Heathrow routes, arguably Pan
Am's biggest international destination, to
United Airlines. (The routes would be
transferred in April 1991, after British and
American regulatory approvals.) This left
Pan Am with its only London flights being
two daily flights to
Gatwick. Pan Am also sold German routes
to Berlin to Lufthansa in 1990.
Lufthansa had previously not been allowed to
fly to Berlin, but such restrictions were
lifted with the reunification of East and
West Germany. By 1990 many foreigners still
perceived Pan Am to be a "flag
carrier" of the United States. The
airline announced in September 1990 that it
would eliminate 2,500 jobs (8.6% of its work
force) by October of that year. The airline
Pan Am Express operations.
Pan Am was forced to declare
Delta Air Lines purchased the remaining
profitable assets of Pan Am, including its
remaining European routes and the Pan Am
Worldport at JFK Airport, and injected some
cash into a smaller Pan Am predominantly
serving the Caribbean and Latin America.
During that time, Pan Am continued to incur
heavy losses. The Boston-New York
LaGuardia-Washington National shuttle
service was taken over by Delta in
September, 1991. Delta obtained all of Pan
Am's remaining transatlantic rights, except
Miami to Paris and London, in November 1991.
Pan Am ceased operations on
1991, when Delta cut off its support.
After withdrawing its agreed upon financial
support, which would have allowed Pan Am to
continue with a hub in MIA, Delta was sued
for more than $2.5 billion on
1991 by the Pan Am Creditors Committee.
Shortly thereafter, a large group of former
Pan Am employees also sued Delta. Delta was
able to combine and move the cases from New
York to Atlanta. Delta was also able to
prevent a jury trial, which, according to
Business Week magazine, its attorneys had
stated it would likely lose. The Atlanta
judge then dismissed the lawsuits.