MARTIN SHUGRUE, the ex-chief operating officer of Pan American World Airways, plans to relaunch the airline. Shugrue and former US Undersecretary of Commerce, for Travel and Tourism Charles Cobb have lined up $30 million in start-up capital from a consortium of investors.

The airline, the world's most illustrious carrier for most of its 65-year history until forced into bankruptcy in 1991, plans to operate three leased Airbus A300s on low-fare, full-service, flights linking New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago and Miami. San Juan and other destinations will be added later. The airline plans to operate eight A300s by the end of its first year.

Shugrue will be president of the new airline. He was also vice-chairman of the original Pan Am, is a former president of Continental Airlines and oversaw the liquidation of Eastern Airlines. Cobb's company acquired the Pan Am name, logo and related assets in 1993 for $1.3 million.

Vital to the plan is a series of the "Pan Am Alliance" - marketing and scheduling agreements with medium-to-small foreign carriers, which do not already have links with US airlines. The plan calls for advance purchases of seat blocks on Pan Am flights by Alliance members, providing an international feed to bolster the airline's domestic traffic. Shugrue says that foreign carriers have already agreed to buy $25 million worth of tickets in the first year.

Shugrue says that the new Pan Am will offer first-class service at coach fares, coach-class service at fares 25-30% below standard fares, and a frequent-flyer programme.

Source: Flight International