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Pan Am flights to London Gatwick

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Pan Am flights to London Gatwick

Old 4th Mar 2020, 12:55
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Pan Am flights to London Gatwick

Pan Am flights to London Gatwick.
Can any of you chaps enlighten me as to the routes/dates that PAA flew to Gatwick?
I recall seeing B707, DC-10, TriStar, B727, A310 and A300 used over a number of years.
Would the A300 in 1985 have been from Germany?
I was told that PAA brought the first ever 707 into Gatwick in 1959 on a diversion (Heathrow?)
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 14:10
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PAA succeded in landing a 707 at northolt in 1958/59/60
But that"s another story!!!
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 15:25
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Originally Posted by PrincePembroke View Post
Pan Am flights to London Gatwick.
Can any of you chaps enlighten me as to the routes/dates that PAA flew to Gatwick?
I recall seeing B707, DC-10, TriStar, B727, A310 and A300 used over a number of years.
Would the A300 in 1985 have been from Germany?
I was told that PAA brought the first ever 707 into Gatwick in 1959 on a diversion (Heathrow?)
I'm pretty sure they did LGW-MIA with a DC10. Date wise can't be sure, but it was when they had given up LHR slots.
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 15:30
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Spose this thread should be in H & N

Pan American at LGW saw 707 on regular affinity charters there from as early as the late 1960's (TWA too) along with the likes of World, TIA. Saturn, Universal, ONA, AFA and Capitol.
Any very early flights were likely diversions.
German IGS Jet feeder flights were into LHR with 727's usually based at Tegel but Pan Am had a German presence from early 1950's starting at TempelHof
Boeing 727-200, Airbus A-310 and A-300 operated in and out of Tegel until 1991.

Pan Am scheduled flights into LGW came along many years later (Bermuda 11?) and infact LGW was their last ditch London base until their sad and sorry demise.
Delta had begun operating Pan Am's transatlantic routes on November 1, 1991, becoming overnight a major carrier across the Atlantic. Acquisitions included Pan Am's New York to Europe routes, hub operations at Frankfurt and New York-JFK, and Pan Am's Miami—London and Detroit—London routes.
London operations were from Gatwick airport only; Pan Am had earlier sold its London-Heathrow access and transpacific routes to United Airlines in 1985.
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 15:42
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Didn't Pan Am first appear on scheduled services into LGW when they bought National ans used DC-10's on the Miami?
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 15:44
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They flew MIA-LGW at the end once they left LHR in 1991, the 1985 sale was the Pacific.
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 15:50
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Originally Posted by PrincePembroke View Post
Pan Am flights to London Gatwick.
Can any of you chaps enlighten me as to the routes/dates that PAA flew to Gatwick?
I think the 747 ex-JFK, MIA and SFO, the A310 from JFK, IAD and DTW and probably the 727 out of TXL operated out of Gatwick from April 1991 to the Pan Am shutdown in December 1991 [or probably until November 1 when Delta took over the routes as rog747 notes above - Airbubba]. The LHR gates had been sold to United. I don't know about the earlier PAA LGW operations, they were before my time.

Originally Posted by bean View Post
PAA succeded in landing a 707 at northolt in 1958/59/60
But that"s another story!!!
Well, I don't think they did it three years in a row. But that story was still corporate legend when I wore a white hat three decades later. One version said that the plane was emptied and the crew ferried to LHR where they were then sacked. After some research on another online forum it appears that the captain years later flew his retirement flight in the left seat of a B-747SP HNL-SFO.

The Captain of the Pan Am B707 which landed at Northolt instead of Heathrow was (allegedly) asked by ATC for his intentions. "I guess I'll take up Chicken Farming" was the reply.
Boeing 747 Dreamlifter lands at wrong airport

Last edited by Airbubba; 4th Mar 2020 at 16:12.
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 16:19
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Pan Am earlier in the 1980s did a LGW-Houston flight, with an L1011-500, which the Bermuda Agreement did not allow at Heathrow as it was outside the geographical US boundary. Later, when they sold their Heathrow operation to United in 1990, they continued to run Miami and Detroit flights from Gatwick with the A310, as only two US carriers were allowed at Heathrow.

The Miami flights worked through a notable range of carriers around 1990, almost a different one every year, several US carriers had a shot at it - United, Continental, and others.

The German flights didn't operate nonstop to Berlin but went through other German points. They were part of the sale of Pan Am London routes to United, separate from the rest of Europe which went to Delta. United positioned a few 727s over to Europe to run these and other European connecting flights for a while, which all came together each late morning at Heathrow where the 727s parked on the remote stands between T3 and the northern runway.
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 17:17
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Originally Posted by PrincePembroke View Post
Pan Am flights to London Gatwick.
Can any of you chaps enlighten me as to the routes/dates that PAA flew to Gatwick?
I recall seeing B707, DC-10, TriStar, B727, A310 and A300 used over a number of years.
Would the A300 in 1985 have been from Germany?
I was told that PAA brought the first ever 707 into Gatwick in 1959 on a diversion (Heathrow?)
In September 1980 (or it might have been 1981) I came back from Mexico City on a PAA Tristar. The planned destination was LGW but in the event we diverted to LHR because of fog.

The flight in fact originated at Guatemala City, going via Mexico City and Houston. I remember the flight quite well as my mother-in-law got on at Guatemala and I joined her in Mexico. Landing at the "wrong" airport caused considerable panic in my wife and father who were meeting us - no moble phones in those days!
I'm sure the aircraft was a Tri-Star. I think the flight number changed at Houston-
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 18:24
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Just to add what has already been said, ignoring charters Pan Am had 2 stints at Gatwick, 2 July 1980 they started Gatwick to Houston, I believe this lasted until 1983 and was flown by L1011s and 747's, as has been mentioned Houston could not be served from Heathrow due to Bermuda II and by merging with National Pan Am gained quite a presence at Houston.

They returned in May 1991, having sold their Heathrow rights to United, ending service to Heathrow on 3 April 1991 however there was a gap in service as I presume they hand't been able to set up operations at Gatwick in time so United actually flew Heathrow Miami for a month. United did not buy the Miami and Detroit routes so Pan Am started these from Gatwick from 18 May 1991, Detroit was an A310, Miami a 747. Delta bought all of Pan Ams transatlantic routes and took over from 1 November 1991 ending Pan Ams presence in London.

Some of the dates might be slightly out but that is a rough idea.
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 18:33
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Originally Posted by WHBM View Post
Later, when they sold their Heathrow operation to United in 1990, they continued to run Miami and Detroit flights from Gatwick with the A310, as only two US carriers were allowed at Heathrow.
MIA-LGW on an A310? I sure don't remember that one...
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 18:47
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It was difficult identifying the date in my passport, in the end I succeded.
The photo was taken at LGW on 15 May 1991.

BEA 71

Last edited by BEA 71; 4th Mar 2020 at 19:59. Reason: Check Date
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 18:54
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Originally Posted by Airbubba View Post
MIA-LGW on an A310? I sure don't remember that one...
A quick Google brings up a A310 lining up for 08R on Flickr, doesn't say which route but proves they did visit
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 19:13
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Originally Posted by pabely View Post
A quick Google brings up a A310 lining up for 08R on Flickr, doesn't say which route but proves they did visit
I flew the A310 out of MIA and LGW but as far as I can remember never between the two. With winter winds and fuel tank temperature restrictions the 'bus sometimes had trouble making it from European airports to JFK without a fuel stop in Gander or Bangor (free lobster for the crew at BGR, hard to sneak by the pax though ).
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Old 4th Mar 2020, 22:08
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And what really made Pan Am to go under?
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Old 5th Mar 2020, 02:11
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This is N806PA at Berlin-Tegel ( TXL ), ca. 1987. Flights operated mixed domestic/international services,
i.e. TXL-HAM-JFK, they also were workhorses on the TXL-FRA route, I am not sure about international
connections. These years were very confusing, United and TWA were operating B 727s into London,
then widebodies to the U.S.. All under the same flight number.
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Old 5th Mar 2020, 07:01
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Originally Posted by The Range View Post
And what really made Pan Am to go under?
Bit of a combo really - Lockerbie and fines for security issues - A way too generous frequent flyer program that meant many seats were free - old aircraft - Gulf War 1 - and of course that meant fuel costs.They were close to making a deal regarding continued operations with TWA on the 3rd December 1991. As such the airline opened for business as usual on 4th of December, however, was shut down within an hour and the airline was gone.
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Old 5th Mar 2020, 11:15
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Also shot on 15th May 1991 - B 747-212B N723PA at LGW. Apologies for the poor quality, photos were taken
from a hotel room. It very much looks like there is a PanAm 707 parked behind the Jumbo.

Travelled on a British Airways DC 10 from LGW to HOU the day after. Routing was MUC-LHR then by bus to Gatwick
and LGW-HOU. Travelling from Continental Europe to longhaul destinations via LGW could be a pain in the neck.
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Old 5th Mar 2020, 11:52
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This was one of the Pan-Am Tristar flights to LGW. N510PA, Lockheed L-1011-500 Tristar, Pan Am, LGW, 1982 Oct 24. I took this photo whilst working at LGW

As I recall, when they first started the scheduled services into LGW, Pan-Am sent a representative down from LHR to oversee the handling.

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Old 5th Mar 2020, 15:28
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Originally Posted by BEA 71 View Post
This is N806PA at Berlin-Tegel ( TXL ), ca. 1987. Flights operated mixed domestic/international services,
i.e. TXL-HAM-JFK, they also were workhorses on the TXL-FRA route, I am not sure about international
connections.
Three decades ago ETOPS twins were a novelty on the NAT tracks and the A310 was relatively slow cruising at mach .8 compared to other traffic. 747's, L1011's and the like usually did something like .86. The Sky-Gods on the Whale would kid us about getting trailing edge bird strikes on the wing. You could bump up the speed on the A310 to try to maintain separation but at .82 the fuel flow rose to the point that you would eat into your contingency reserves and you might have to make an extra stop.

For better fuel efficiency you wanted to go high as the aircraft got lighter but the fuel temp was limited to no colder than 3 degrees C. above the fuel freeze point (or something like that on the Pratt motors, I knew it for the oral exam, I swear ). You could descend to try to warm the fuel but that ate gas as did increasing the mach.

TXL had an uber-senior A310 pilot base and I think JFK was the only other A310 pilot base. The A310 aircraft went as far as Karachi to the east and west to the domestic Pan Am route system and down to South America.
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