LONDON – According to The Scotsman, Pan Am (PA) Pilots who lost their careers and pensions as a result of the collapse of the carrier will be able to claim back money.
The article appeared in The Scotsman due to the specific Pilots in question arguing that the 1988 Lockerbie disaster had caused the demise of the airline. Susan Collins, who introduced the legislation in question to the US Senate, argues that the bill will “create a process to seek justice.”
If the plans are approved, then it would end a 26-year dispute by the Pilots in the Libyan courts, with it being described as frustrating in its attempts to get any money out of the state.
The Process for Compensation
Collins will continue to push forward the Living Victims of Lockerbie Act, which consists of an initial £15.5m compensation fund to be made, with those who were employed at the airline to make a claim for up to £310,000 per person.
It is understood that if the bill is passed, then the US Treasury would pay for such damages.
This renewed effort to acquire compensation came following a ruling from two years ago where former pilots at the same airline were not eligible to apply to a £1.1bn fund created by Libya.
The US Foreign Claims Settlement Commission disagreed with the Pilots perspective of the demise. This was because the commission was able to attribute certain factors to the airline’s demise in December 1991, following an attempt to purchase Northwest Airlines (NW) and the merger with Delta Air Lines (DL) failing.
- Oil price spikes.
- Airline deregulation.
- First Iraq War.
Collins disagrees with the view of the government, stating that “the infamous act of terror” set the stage for the demise of the airline, irrespective of what else was going on at the time. “The media coverage of the terrorist attack wreaked havoc on Pan Am sales, leading to its bankruptcy”.
The same perspective came from former Pan Am Pilot Bruce Abbot, who stated that this has been long overdue.
“The tentacles of this thing, they are long and they reach deeply. They affected many people whose names are not found in the graveyard. We’re here seeking justice, which I know is due. Overdue.”
The Next Steps
For the affected Pilots, the next step is unfortunately more waiting. The bill that was proposed by Collins is awaiting consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee before any talk of a bill approval even occurs.
In the meantime, people can only hope for the pilots to acquire the final verdict, regardless of whether it goes their way or not. If it passes, then it will be 26 years of fighting over, meaning that they can live the rest of their lives satisfied.
Featured Image: Pan Am Boeing 707. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons