Jimmy Carter photo

Letter to the Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board on the Pan American World Airways-National Airlines Merger

December 22, 1979

To Chairman Marvin Cohen

I have reviewed the following orders proposed by the Civil Aeronautics Board:

Pan American Acquisition of, Control of, and Merger with National
Docket 33283


Texas International-National Acquisition Case
Docket 33112

I do not intend to disapprove the Board's orders within the 60 days allowed by statute.

In these orders, the Board approved the acquisition of National Airlines by Pan American World Airways. However, the Board deleted from the authority granted the merged airline the right now held by National, to provide service between Miami and London. Instead, the Board has initiated a separate proceeding to select a successor to National to operate the Miami-London route.

Under the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978, the President is given 60 days following a CAB decision such as this affecting international routes to review the decision. The President may disapprove a Board decision "solely upon the basis of foreign relations or national defense considerations . . . but not upon the basis of economic or carrier selection considerations."

Questions have been raised about that portion of the Board's decision deleting the Miami-London route from the transferred authority. I do not find sufficiently compelling foreign relations or national defense considerations to disturb the Board's decision on this issue or any other issue. I note that Pan American is one of several applicants for the Miami-London route in a proceeding now under consideration by the Board. I also note that the Board's opinion here underscores the right of the United States to assure any American carrier serving Miami-London complete competitive equality with any British carrier providing similar service, right which must be assured in the final disposition of this matter.

To assure the opportunity for judicial review of the Board's action, I note that no foreign relations or national defense consideration underlies my action here.



[The Honorable Marvin S. Cohen, Chairman, Civil Aeronautics Board, Washington, D.C. 20428]

Jimmy Carter, Letter to the Chairman of the Civil Aeronautics Board on the Pan American World Airways-National Airlines Merger Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/248496

Filed Under


Simple Search of Our Archives