Occasionally I will cover not only James Bond locations but also how Bond gets there. Numerous airlines have featured in the films and first out on the James Bond travel section, in honour of the new TV-series Pan Am, is suitably Pan American Airways, Bond’s choice of airline in four films, including the first two.
|Flight 323 from New York to Jamaica|
Bond’s very first assignment in Dr. No, takes him to Jamaica to investigate the disappearance of Mi6 operative Strangways. He travels there from New York on a Boeing 707-320 from Pan American. The tail number is not visible but the flight number mentioned is PA 323.
Pan Am was founded by Juan Terry Trippe in 1927 and is today famous for its exclusive luxury and charm. In this case famous means famous. During the 50’s Pan Am was second, after Coca Cola, in name recognition.
The airline was a cultural icon of the 20th century and shaped the international airline industry and was well regarded for its modern fleet and experienced and professional crews.
Pan Am’s onboard service and cuisine, inspired by Maxim’s de Paris, were delivered “with a personal flair that has rarely been equaled.”
Jamaica achieved full independence from the United Kingdom in August 1962 and was still a British colony when filming begun in January. So why Mi6 didn’t use a British airline like BOAC for their agents traveling within the empire is unknown but in one of the novels Bond tells Monepenny to “schedule his flight with Pan Am as always” and it is likely that this had a significant impact on the producers. In the novel ‘Dr No’, Bond flies a Super Constellation.
From Russia with Love
A year later, when Bond traveled to Istanbul, Pan Am was again Mi6’s choice of airline. Moneypenny hands over Bond’s air ticket in the office. The tail number on Bond’s plane is N762PA and the flight number mentioned in the film is PA1, which was actually a real flight number used by Pan Am.
|Flight PA1 from London to Istanbul|
|Notice also the 007 pattern on Solitare’s tarot cards|
The tail number is N747PA. It was the second 747 made and actually the very first jumbo jet ever delivered and used for commercial flights. The first 747 was never used for other purposes than flight-tests at the Boeing plant.
Bond is arriving at the Pan Am Worldport at JFK airport in New York, once the centre of the airline’s New York operations. This terminal is still in use today, serving as the Delta Airlines terminal, named Delta Flight Center.
In 1989 Bond is on leave in Florida as the best man at Felix’s wedding. The next morning he is about to fly to Istanbul on a mission. He arrives at the Key West International Airport on South Roosevelt Boulevard in Florida.
An interesting note is that the woman at the check-in counter asks Bond if he wants smoking or non-smoking since smoking was still allowed on board in 1989.
In the late 80’s Pan Am was an airline with financial troubles, although not unique nor unconquerable. That all changed overnight with the terror attack against Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie in Scotland.