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Pan Am Daily Service To San Juan Puts A Low-Fare Carrier Into The Market

Carrier could soon add Chicago & Allentown


February 1, 2001
Copyright © 2001 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Pan American Airways launching of daily service from Orlando to San Juan is not going to immediately change the competitive structure of the market, but it will introduce a low-fare carrier into new untapped, limited markets.

The Pan Am announcement was made several weeks after American Airlines agreed to buy all of the assets of Trans World Airlines (TWA), which from a competitive standpoint, the Caribbean, especially San Juan, could find itself with much less competition due to the deal.

Pan Am will begin operating scheduled passenger service on May 24 from Orlando to San Juan and will offer twice-weekly charter service between San Juan and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

"This new Pan Am has nothing to do with the original company that died twice," said airline expert Michael Boyd of The Boyd Group in Colorado. "The new Pan Am is not going to be a big player in San Juan anytime soon."

On the other hand, Boyd did say that any additional air service is good for Puerto Rico.

In absorbing TWA (the second largest carrier in San Juan), American has not only rid itself of its closest rival but of an airline that sells a greater share of discounted tickets than most carriers.

An airline expert, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS that Pan Am is looking to add a couple of markets to San Juan.

"There could be the possibility that Pan Am could launch daily service from Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania to San Juan and one from Gary/Chicago to San Juan," the source added. "They already provide scheduled passenger service to those markets and these areas are not served by big carriers but have a lot of passenger traffic."

Guilford Transportation Industries acquired the new Pan Am in June 1998. The new owners, who are in the steel business in New England, relocated the company’s headquarters from Ft. Lauderdale to Portsmouth, New Hampshire in December 1998.

Pan Am currently provides scheduled passenger service to the Orlando area from Portsmouth, Gary/Chicago, Bangor, Maine; Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania; and Mid America Airport in St. Louis, Missouri. Service from Worcester, Maine will begin Feb. 6.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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