|National's success was its downfall, as all of its aircraft
and equipment were paid for. A bidding war began over the takeover of National's
system. In 1980 Pan American World Airways acquired National Airlines and
operated its routes. Deregulation was passed and suddenly Pan American
was debt ridden -- this was the beginning of an eleven year downslide.
The airline that was synonymous with aviation for over 60 years succumbed
to years of crushing financial pressures and ceased operations in 1991.