Pan Am’s final chapter

Ashley Milne-Tyte Aug 17, 2006


SCOTT JAGOW: The last week has been filled with news about an airline terrorism plot that was thwarted. But this morning, we turn our attention to one that wasn’t: the bombing of a Pan Am Flight almost 18 years ago. There is some closure coming to this. Pan Am is getting $30 million from the Libyan government by the end of the year. The money will go to creditors of the now-defunct airline and to 15,000 former employees. More now from Ashley Milne-Tyte.

ASHLEY MILNE-TYTE: Pan Am went into bankruptcy in January 1991. It ceased operations at the end of that year, three years after its Flight 103 was bombed over Lockerbie, Scotland. 270 people died.

Pan Am started trying to recover damages from the Libyan government and two Libyan agents via a civil suit soon after the attack.

The suit finally went ahead in 2004, after a Scottish court convicted one of the agents on criminal charges.

Pan Am now exists only as a court-appointed trust. The $30 million distribution will officially end the bankruptcy, and mark the end of the line for the iconic airline.

In New York I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.