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 Pan Am stops flying

No, that's not an old headline, but rather a reference to small New Hampshire-based operation that had resurrected the old name and logo of the long-defunct U.S. aviation giant. The latest Pan Am flights –- which had been on 19-seat Jestream 3100 turboprops –- were suspended Friday. A message on the airline's website apologizes for the shutdown and advises people needing "assistance with a pending Customer Service issue" to e-mail or fax the company.

The Pan Am brand had been operated by the Boston-Maine Airways Corp. at the time of the shutdown, which came as the company's routes had fluctuated wildly over the past few years. Boston-Maine's Pan Am flights flew mostly to smaller secondary airports and –- at the time of its Friday shutdown –- had scheduled service only to Portsmouth, N.H.; Bedford, Mass.; and Trenton, N.J. Other destinations had been added and dropped quickly over the past few years, with some cities lasting only a few months before Pan Am pulled the plug. Previous destinations in the recent line-up included Baltimore/Washington International; Tunica, Miss.; Gary, Ind., and Elmira, N.Y.

The Times of Trenton writes Boston-Maine's decision to end its scheduled Pan Am service Friday comes after the "Department of Transportation filed an order on Feb. 1, proposing to revoke Boston- Maine's certificate to fly. The department cited the Portsmouth, N.H.-based company's poor financial conditions, a false financial report filed in 2002 and questions raised about its managers' competence." Boston-Maine spokeswoman Stacy Beck said declined to comment on the DOT filing, telling the Times only that "we're certainly disappointed with the order." In a Feb. 5 story written just after the DOT filing, the Portsmouth Herald News writes a good background story describing many of the problems at Boston-Maine.  per

Pan Am