MAY 1934


Pan American Airways Logo c. 1930s


“1934: Pan Am Expands Perspectives in Brazil”

Pan Am Am Expands Perspective in Brazil with route to the Amazon, 1934

Photo compilation: Sikorsky S-38 (PAHF Collection).
Map showing new Pan Am Belem to Manaus route in Brazil 1934, from the Official Aviation Guide of the Airways, August 1935


Ninety years ago, Brazil’s interior was notably difficult to access by boat, taking two weeks or more to travel from Belem on the coast, to the Amazon River city of Manaus. But by air, it was slowly opening up to the outside world. It was in late summer 1933 that Pan Am made survey flights up the Amazon River to Manaus, finally setting up operations and a station there.

Shortly after, PAA affiliate Panair do Brasil inaugurated weekly passenger service on a new route with Sikorsky S-38 amphibians taking passengers to Amazon River destinations in less than 12 hours. That same year, Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh explored the Amazon in their tiny Lockheed Sirius during the flight home from their epic Arctic and African surveys.

The tremendous media coverage during the Lindberghs' famous flight sparked public interest in traveling to exotic South American locations. And by May 1934, Pan Am’s affiliate Panair do Brasil began using larger flying boats in their fleet -- Consolidated Commodores -- to transport even more passengers and cargo to the Amazon jungle.

That month, as interest in Brazil's interior regions grew, Hollywood Director George B. Seitz, with Harold Noice, explorer and author, collaborated on a location-scouting trip for a proposed MGM film. They flew from Belem to Manaus, and went further upriver on a chartered Pan Am Sikorsky S-38 to explore jungle streams. The film never happened, but Harold Noice later produced a radio series “The Black Flame of the Amazon” (1938), and authored a book about his explorations in the Amazon, “Back to Beyond” (1939).

"Pan American Air Ways", Vol. 5., No. 4 (May-June 1934), from the PAHF Collection.
R.E.G. Davies. "Airlines of Pan American Since 1927" (Paladwr Press, 2001), p. 248.



Pan American Airways Logo c. 1930s

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