Pan Am Says It Is Flying 50% of Routes Abroad

Times Staff Writer

Pan American World Airways, its domestic operations at a virtual standstill on the second day of a strike against it by the Transport Workers Union, said Friday that it was managing to operate about 50% of its overseas flights, particularly to the Caribbean and within Germany.

John Krimsky, the airline's senior vice president-marketing, said that Pan Am had "designed a strike operations plan which maintains Pan Am service from our major U.S. stations to a number of key worldwide leisure and commercial cities, but have unfortunately had to curtail our domestic operations."

No Talks Scheduled

But a spokesman at TWU headquarters here, Leo Kutch, said that "the strike is completely effective. I am told all Pan Am employees are honoring the picket lines." He said that no negotiations are scheduled. The TWU represents 5,700 Pan Am mechanics and baggage handlers.

The strike is proving to be a bonanza for Pan Am's competitors around the world.

"We don't like to gloat about this," said Richard L. McGraw, senior vice president of corporate communications at Eastern Airlines. "But it will have an impact on our earnings for the entire year. Wherever Eastern flies in competition with Pan Am we have picked up extra business."

Foreign airlines are also benefiting from the Pan Am walkout. British Airways said "reservations are inundated and flights are jammed." Japan Airlines, though it had no figures available, said it is "overselling" tickets to many Pan American passengers to Tokyo.

Duration of Walkout

While analysts say that Pan Am could survive a strike of several months, they add that the longer the walkout lasts the harder it will be for the airline to regain the passenger loads it loses to the other carriers.

"If the strike lasts only a week or two," said Louis Marckesano of Philadelphia-based Janney Montgomery Scott, "there won't be much change in Pan Am's summer bookings. But if it lasts longer than that, people will cover their bets and seek other reservations."

Marckesano said that while it would be difficult for Pan Am to return to its revenues after a strike, its overhead--the cost of such things as fuel and wages--would return immediately.

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