Mid-Air Transfer

Changing pilots at Pan Am

Never before had Pan American World Airways tapped the head of another airline to be its boss. But this week C. Edward Acker, 52, chairman of Miami-based Air Florida, will take over as Pan Am chairman. He succeeds William T. Seawell, 63, who in July announced his early retirement.

At Pan Am, Acker faces probably the toughest task in U.S. commercial aviation. Buffeted by new competition brought about by airline deregulation, skyrocketing labor and fuel costs and overextended air routes, Pan Am lost $217.6 million in the first half of the year. Two weeks ago company directors approved...

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