Pan American World Airways, or Pan Am as it was more commonly known, was founded in 1927. It was originally intended to carry mail between the U.S. and Cuba, but it expanded its international operations and updated its fleet with the newest and most sophisticated planes. This positioned it to take advantage of the tourism boom after World War II, and eventually Pan Am became the dominant international carrier.
Pan Am peaked during the 1960s and1970s, and its blue globe logo became an iconic symbol of its superiority. However, the 1988 terrorist bombing of Flight 103 and the jump in fuel prices caused by the Gulf War was a financial double-whammy from which the airline couldn’t recover. It filed for bankruptcy in 1991. In 2011 the airline became the subject of a television series, “Pan Am,” which depicted the lives of its pilots and stewardesses during its heyday.