Today Delta Air Lines Becomes ‘The New Pan Am’

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1/07/2009 – Today Delta Air Lines Becomes ‘The New Pan Am’

Today, the 1st of July 2009, is a historic day in the airline industry.  While many in the airline industry are focused elsewhere, Delta Air Lines launched it’s non-stop service between Los Angeles (LAX) and Sydney (SYD) becoming the first U.S. flag carrying airline to service the ‘six inhabited continents’ since the demise of Pan Am, on the 4th of December 1991.

While Pan Am at one point was capable of flying passengers completely around the world (only Air New Zealand currently holds that global distinction) Delta Air Lines’ new service signals the return of U.S.  airlines to the dominating presence among global carriers.

Yes, other airlines around the world fly to all six continents, such as Qantas, British Airways, however Delta’s service to six continents comes at the start of its growth period as the largest airline in the world…much like Pan Am was when they dominated the globe.  As the majority of global airlines are shrinking Delta is growing.

Having spent much of my childhood watching Pan Am 747s fly over my home arriving and departing from the Pan Am ‘Worldport’ at New York’s JFK Airport, and having grown up flying primarily on Delta I would have never imagined that someday Delta would become ‘The New Pan Am.

Delta not only purchased many of Pan Am’s assets, including the Worldport Terminal in 1991, but they are now the representative airline of the United States spanning the globe…just like Pan Am.

That’s it for my nostalgic look into the present and future…

Below are two classic Pan Am print ads, slightly adjusted to incorporate the logo of ‘The New Pan Am’

Happy Flying!




  1. Wait, the Pan Am ad considers Alaska to be a continent? Maybe the rest of North America wasn’t good enough for them.

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