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Pan American Grace Airways

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Commenced operations
October 12, 1929

See Destinations below


Fleet size
See Fleet below

13 September 1928

Pan American-Grace Airways httpsjpbpa2fileswordpresscom201401logo1jpg

Ceased operations
1967 (1967) (merged with Braniff International Airways)

Parent organizations
Pan American World Airways, W. R. Grace and Company

Pan American-Grace Airways, better known as Panagra, was an airline formed as a joint venture between Pan American World Airways and Grace Shipping Company.


Panagra's network stretched from Panama and the U.S.-controlled Panama Canal Zone to Santiago, Chile and Buenos Aires. It was founded in 1929 to compete with SCADTA, a German-owned company, and held a quasi-monopoly over air travel in parts of Colombia and South America during the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1939, a passenger traveling from the U.S. to Buenos Aires would board a Pan Am Sikorsky S-42 flying boat at Miami and fly to Colon, Panama in the Canal Zone, stay overnight and then board a Panagra Douglas DC-2 or DC-3 and fly to Buenos Aires with overnight stops in Guayaquil, Arica and Santiago. This routing was a full day faster than the Pan Am service operated via the coast of Brazil. The one-way fare from Miami to Buenos Aires was US $550 (equivalent to $10,245 in 2016).

After World War II, airliners could operate at night over South America, and in 1947 Panagra Douglas DC-6s made scheduled flights from Miami to Buenos Aires in 20 hours and 25 minutes. Pan Am crewed the DC-6 south across the Caribbean to Albrook Field, near Balboa, Panama where Panagra flight crews took over. In 1949, Panagra flights serving Panama shifted to Tocumen Airport. In 1955, Panagra Douglas DC-6Bs and DC-7Bs began serving Washington DC and New York City with these flights being operated by National Airlines crews north of Miami. In 1957, the Panagra DC-7B service via Lima was several hours faster from New York Idlewild Airport (later renamed JFK Airport) to Buenos Aires than the Pan Am DC-7B service operated via Rio de Janeiro.

Panagra entered the jet age in 1960 when it introduced new Douglas DC-8-31 jetliners.

According to the Panagra system timetable dated July 15, 1966, the airline was operating DC-8 "El Inter Americano" jet service between various destinations in Latin America and Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York City (JFK) and San Francisco (SFO). Panagra was still cooperating with National Airlines and Pan American World Airways with regard to their service between the U.S. and Latin America at this time. This timetable listed the following destinations served by Panagra in Central and South America: Antofagasta, Chile; Buenos Aires, Argentina; Cali, Colombia; Guayaquil, Ecuador; La Paz, Bolivia; Lima, Peru; Panama City, Panama; Quito, Ecuador; and Santiago, Chile.

Panagra merged with Braniff International Airways in 1967. Braniff operated the former Panagra routes to South America until 1982 when Eastern Air Lines purchased Braniff's South American operations. Beginning in 1990, these routes were then operated by American Airlines which had acquired them from Eastern.

W. R. Grace and Company had a 50% share of Pan American-Grace Airways, with Pan Am owning the other 50%.

The Panagra name was resurrected during the late 1990s when a new airline which billed itself as Panagra Airways operated Boeing 727-200 jetliners.


Pan American-Grace Airways Wikipedia

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