Pan Am Units File for Bankruptcy
MIAMI (AP) _ Pan Am Corp.’s two main airline units filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Thursday, a week after the company said it would lay off 225 employees, ground two of its largest planes and cut back routes.
The shutdown was to begin at 12:01 a.m. Friday. Passengers arriving for flights Friday will be greeted by signs informing them of the cancellations and instructions on obtaining refunds, said company spokesman Jeff Kriendler.
``We have asked other airlines to accommodate passengers in the shutdown, but there is no obligation for them to do so,″ Kriendler said.
Cutbacks announced last week were not enough and the airline was not able to obtain financing to avoid filing for bankruptcy, Kriendler said.
He said 1,450 people will lose their jobs because of the shutdown.
The Miami-based airlines served Florida, the Northeast, Midwest and Puerto Rico.
Kriendler said the parent company, Pan Am Corp., is not filing for bankruptcy protection and will continue to looking for financial help or a merger to restart its two main units _ Pan American World Airways, Inc. and Pan American Airways Corp.
But there are no guarantees the airlines will fly again, Kriendler said.
``We’re diligently working on trying to get outside financing,″ Kriendler said. ``We’re still hoping that we may be able to re-launch the company in the near future.″
In March, Pan Am merged with Fort Lauderdale-based Carnival Airlines. Carnival’s billionaire owner Micky Arison contributed $30 million to become the controlling shareholder, while Pan Am put its famous blue-globe logo on Carnival Airlines’ larger fleet.