Friday, May 10, 2013
One last in this week's series of new international carriers coming to Chicago, particularly those that are a resumption of previous intercontinental flights: The rather strange homepage graphic is from the website of Austrian Airlines, which this month is due to return to Chicago. The move has long been prudent, to feed into the massive mid-continental links of Star Alliance partner United Air Lines.
But the image above rather clumsily suggests connections not via the Midwest but Mittel-Europa; it has always been Austrian Airlines dream to have Vienna serve as a switch-station to points further east, such as here faraway Delhi or nearby Moscow or Kiev. There probably won't be too many US passengers for Minsk, and why anyone would connect from North America to London or Barcelona via Vienna is curious; better off trying the new-nonstop on PIA for Catalonia, for instance.
Thursday, May 9, 2013
A final post a news out of Chicago, especially concerning new service to O'Hare featuring the exotic liveries of southwest Asian airlines and unusual fifth-freedom routes. The very nice site boardingarea.com has a feature on Pakistan International Airlines new Chicago-Barcelona service. Flight PK794 then continues on to both Islamabad and Karachi, although Boardingarea.com's post focuses on the extremely reasonable business-class fares to Spain.
The route is actually a resumption of long-standing service from Pakistan to the prairie which was temporarily cut in 2012. The older route included a Lahore stop, which is not in PIA's present plans for 2013.
A special thanks to boardingarea.com for the original reporting and use of the above images.
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
Following yesterday's post seems an opportune moment to look at the relationship between a fourth Gulf airline and Chicago O'Hare: Kuwait Airways, which once offered twice-weekly A340 flights from the tiny Emirate to the Windy City, initially via Amsterdam then later offering the only non-stop service from Illinois to Lake Geneva (the original body in Switzerland), with 5th-freedom rights to carry passengers between Europe and the Midwest. The service ended in November 2005, just as the mighty Emirates and other Mid-east mega-carriers began a massive expansion, with Kuwait Airways and Gulf Air being just two legacy carriers to retreat.
Tuesday, May 7, 2013
Qatar Airways, continuing its rapid, worldwide expansion by adding a fourth destination in the United States last month: Chicago O'Hare. The ultra-long range B777-300ER will ply the 13-hour route just three time per week until June, when the service will become daily, in time for the scorching season in both places. The move comes well-ahead, but presumably related to, Qatar's admission to the OneWorld alliance, which will involve greater coordination with American Airlines, which of course has a huge hub at ORD.
Qatar joins Etihad Airways as the second of the three fast-growing Gulf super-carrier to land at O'Hare. Now also a daily service, Etihad's extended range A340-500s have been descending over Lake Michigan since September 2009. Interestingly, this leaves Emirates, the mack-daddy of Middle Eastern mega-airlines, as the only one of the three rivals to not service the midwestern metropolis, despite serving smaller, secondary US hubs such as Dallas, San Francisco and Seattle for several years.
Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Reprint of: "Saudi Airline Plans Seasonal Flights To Orlando International"
published on June 21, 1994, written by Jerry Jackson for the Orlando Sentinel:
Saudia Airlines, the flagship airline of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, will begin flying into Orlando via New York on July 4, Orlando International Airport officials said Monday.
Flights using Boeing 747-300 aircraft will operate twice a week from Jeddah and Riyadh, to Orlando International Airport with a brief stop at New York's Kennedy International Airport.
Saudia's flights initially are scheduled to operate through September, primarily for the summer tourism season in Florida. But airport officials said they hope the route will be successful and that service will be extended.
''Saudia is the flagship carrier for Saudia Arabia and the only airline offering nonstop service from the U.S. to the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia,'' said Keith Phildius, senior vice president for international development and marketing for Orlando International.
It is the second airline from the Mideast to announce seasonal service to Orlando in the past six months. In January, El Al Israel Airline launched twice weekly service to Orlando International through Feb. 20 and the end of the pilgrimage season to the Holy Land.
Also this year, Aeroflot Russian International Airlines began regularly scheduled service between Moscow and Orlando on a test basis.
''I think it says a lot that within a two or three-month period of time, two of the world's renowned airlines - Aeroflot and Saudia - are coming to Orlando. It's good news,'' Phildius said.
More than a dozen airlines provide regularly scheduled international service to 20 destinations from Orlando. Another 40 charter airlines fly frequently between scores of other foreign cities and Orlando.
Airport officials said the decision by Saudia Airlines to fly to Orlando, shuttling tourists and business travelers to Central Florida, helps Orlando stretch its vision as an international center.
''This goes beyond our traditional markets of Latin America and Europe,'' said Carolyn Fennell, a spokeswoman for the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority.
A representative of Saudia Airlines could not be reached Monday, and Orlando airport officials had no further details about the service.
Monday, April 1, 2013
Long-gone are the days when Trans World Airlines even existed, or that there was a sizeable airline hub at Lambert Airport in St. Louis, or that there was intercontinental service from the airport. But in the golden years of the 1980s and 1990s, St Louis acted as a mid-American cross-roads, linking the plains states with the coasts, in addition to a highly-prestigious cluster of cross-pond services to London and Paris. The London services peaked at a double-daily operation in the summer of 1997.
The simple symbolism of the above advertisement is clever, graphically rearranging the elements of the famous London underground logo to look both like the Gateway Arch and link the arc of an airplane flight, taking off and landing on two different continents.
Regretfully, any international service at St. Louis today stretches only as far as Toronto or Cancún. American Airlines picked over the remnants of bankrupt TWA in 2001, ending trans-atlantic services soon after the takeover, and shutting down the hub operations in St. Louis over the next decade.
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
A disappointing detail on what is otherwise a delightful flight: KLM 590, the nightly non-stop from Accra to Amsterdam, is onboard a brand-new A330-300, but offers the bland, geography-free in-flight map, above. Part of the joy of a trans-Saharan flight is looking out the window at the wastelands and marveling at the corners of Mali, Mauritania and Algeria that the plane is transversing. Not possible here.
Monday, October 22, 2012
We interrupt this blog to bring you West Africa's newest airline: The delightfully sleek Gambia Bird, which, if its own press releases are to be believed, commenced operations today.
Backed by low-cost German carrier Germania Airways, Gambia Bird features A319 services from Banjul, from the 50-minute hop to Dakar to the long haul legs to London Gatwick and Barcelona. Lagos does not seem to be on the schedule quite yet, nor the non-stops between Freetown and London or Monrovia and Accra. But its current timetable does break with the norm and offer more direct non-stops, rather than interline services (the Banjul-Monrovia run does not stop in Freetown or Conakry, for instance).
There's nothing that Timetablist loves more than a new West African airline, and Gambia has been without its own flag-carrier since the disreputable demise of Slok Air in 2008, and stretching back to the proud days of Air Gambia and Gambia Airways.
Friday, October 19, 2012
Singapore Airlines announces its tricontinental luxury A380 service between Frankfurt and Singapore which launched on 16 January of this year. SIA was the launch operator of the superjumbo, and is currently one of ten airlines flying the A380.
Wednesday, October 17, 2012
A blue-hued depiction of the route of China Eastern Airlines between Shanghai Pudong and Hamburg via Frankfurt, as shown on the China Eastern website, which, like most of the carriers of the People's Republic, is mostly in Chinese, even for a member of SkyTeam. Not many foreign carriers serve Hamburg, despite its size and wealth, but linking the two massive ocean ports via air must be imperative enough to warrant the once-weekly extension of MU219/220 to Hamburg, which started in August of 2011. Its not clear why the interface lists the random selection of destinations in Asia, Australia and Canada as it does at right.
Monday, October 8, 2012
Since it first started flight to London in 1990, Royal Brunei Airlines has offered something of an alternative to the traditional Kangaroo Route choices, with its links to several Australian cities (but not, apparently, Sydney) via the tiny Sultanate's capital, Bandar Seri Begawan, and Dubai to Heathrow Terminal 4. There are even links to five cities in the British Isles, courtesy of BMI, as shown in the cartouche at lower left. The airline serves ten regional cities as well, from Shanghai to Singapore to Surabaya. This item was found via the Daily Mail online, in some sort of promotion with department store John Lewis.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
A map for Qantas from about the same era as the previous post, showing the predominant Australian carrier with all its five-continent reach, from Victoria to Vancouver, Johannesburg to Japan. Similar to this post from last year, also showing the pre-jet era Qantas, yet in this map the airline had spanned the Pacific to San Francisco, a route which commenced in 1954, just five year before the arrival of its first B707s.
Thursday, October 4, 2012
A DC-4 zooms across the dry expanse of the antipodean continent in this vintage route map of the long-gone Australian National Airways. The quad-motor Douglas aircraft only entered the fleet after World War II, and shortly before the airline's demise in a fiercely-competitive market. Although this pamphlet highlights the major national route, Sydney-Melbourne, in red, the airline stretches from Cairns in northern Queensland to Hobart in Tasmania and extends from Adelaide to Perth via the outback station of Kalgoorlie. The remnants of its operations were later folded into Ansett in the mid-1950s.
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Another colorful map from a South Pacific carrier, this Air Pacific, the state airline of Fiji, displays a fan of spectral ribbons across the vast ocean, from Vancouver and Tokyo to Canberra and Christchurch, all via Nadi, the international airport Vita Levu. Tokyo, Vancouver, Wellington and Canberra have all been cancelled: this map was during a very brief period when Air Pacific flew to the Australian capital, which currently enjoys no international services.
Monday, October 1, 2012
In January 2012 the Wall Street Journal's Middle Seat column featured a special report on flying coach for over 15 hours nonstop between Sydney, Australia and Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas aboard Qantas. While perhaps not the longest existing flight in the world, especially in historical terms (Singapore's nonstop to New York was far longer), the article featured an interactive log of how the author passed the time--mostly watching inane television.
Sunday, September 30, 2012
This lovely and dynamic graphic is still available on Air Raro's website, although the page hasn't been updated since 2009. Perhaps nothing has changed in this island paradise, an idyllic archipelago whose atolls from Rarotonga to Pukapuka are strung together by the pastel-colored prop planes of its flag carrier. The long flight to Papeete is handled by Air Tahiti, as noted, while connections to New Zealand and elsewhere must be handled by other carriers.
Saturday, September 29, 2012
Following the previous post, this later, glossier map of Air Vanuatu shows a smaller airline, with no apparent service to Fiji or the Solomon Islands, but the same network to New Caledonia, New Zealand, and New South Wales. The flight from Espiritu Santo to Brisbane has endured. Auckland is for some reason misplaced at the center of the country.
The entire expanse of Air Vanuatu's reach, from the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Fiji, as well as New Zealand and the main cities of Australia, the country's main economic patrons. This includes a nonstop from Espiritu Santo Island to Brisbane.
Friday, September 28, 2012
A rainbow-colored route map for Polynesian Airlines from about ten years ago, via the wonderfully strange, half-dormant website, World of Islands. Its not explicitly clear what the dotted lines refer to, but perhaps Air Pacific or other carriers operated these intra-Antipode routes on Polynesian's behalf.
At the time, Polynesian, founded in 1959 and one of the dominant South Pacific carriers, ran a very prestigious Apia-Honolulu-Los Angeles service, which reportedly bankrupted the company. Sadly, today the airline is relegated to domestic service as Virgin Samoa (formerly Polynesian Blue) runs long-haul flights to Australia and New Zealand. The only service northwards is to Honolulu on Air Pacific, the Fijian carrier.
Tuesday, September 25, 2012
Examining the left-hand side of the same map from the previous post, a State Department of Transportation map from 1971-2. There are many flights between Hawaii and Australia, connecting nonstop from Honolulu to Brisbane and Sydney, as well as Auckland, while connecting New Caledonia and Fiji along the way and with Melbourne as an onward destination. The trans-Micronesia service is shown in special green, dipping down to Nauru, with a major west Pacific base at Guam, which connects onward to Manila, Hong Kong, and Taipei. Tokyo and Okinawa are served non-stop.
Its somewhat difficult to discern which routes certain airlines, listed above, served at the time, especially BOAC and VARIG; Pan Am likely served many of these flights.
A fun artifact from the State Department of Transportation (of Hawaii, presumably) studying the transocean air links of the archipelago. Most flights are indeed from Honolulu. This first post tags the eastbound services to the US West Coast and Vancouver, to Alaska due north, and across to Mexico, as well as inter-Polynesian flights to Tahiti and Samoa. The flights to Acapulco in particular are interesting, as no long-haul flights exist from this fading resort town today.
The only drawback of this representation is it leads the reader to guess which of the airlines listed in box at upper left serve which routes. Some are easy to discern. Several others, such as Western Airlines, TWA, and UTA, no longer fly anywhere.
The next post will detail the westbound flights to Micronesia, Melanesia, Australia, and Asia.
Monday, September 24, 2012
Just three years after the last post, this next, much more muted feature from fabulous Departed Flights shows Hawaiian Airlines having dropped Anchorage and Portland, but otherwise expanded dramatically across the Pacific, reaching Australia and New Zealand while also adding a Polynesian fan of Tahiti and the Cook Islands, along with Guam in Micronesia. Sadly today, most of these exotic island destinations are gone, with the airline only resuming Sydney service and only next year returning to Auckland, and still serving Pago Pago and Papeete.
Sunday, September 23, 2012
Yet another delight from Departed Flights, this wonderfully-vintage Hawaiian Airlines route map from 1987, showing the small airline bridging the Pacific from Anchorage to Apia, and interesting mix of ferrying West Coast vacationers to the islands, interlinking the archipelago state, and linking the tiny isles of Polynesia with Honolulu, the central Pacific metropolis. Note that most of the Hawaiian destinations are labeled by the islands, not the airports.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
A page from America West's late 1991 timetable, detailing the connections out of Honolulu, the available non-stops being via B747 to either Nagoya or Phoenix. It seems that the other mainland connection, to Las Vegas, would be discontinued in early 1992. Connections to West Coast destinations such as Oakland and Portland, as well as far distant New York (both JFK and Newark) as well as several Midwestern cities are shown also, with Moline, Illinois being farther away from Hawaii than Japan.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Another vintage gem from the now-deserted Departed Flights blog: America West Airlines System Route Map from December, 1991, at the extent of the airline's independence, with its Pony Express-styled typography but with a mature presence from Boston to Burbank and a single, exotic pan-Pacific hop from its Las Vegas hub and Phoenix fortress to Honolulu and on to Nagoya, Japan. Today, America West has adopted the styling of its take-over target USAirways, and does not fly to Asia.
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
From the delightful Departed Flights blog, which is sadly itself departed and apparently defunct, is this rare route map of Mohawk Air Lines from August 1991. Even a decade after deregulation, its fascinating to see how regionally-limited some airlines were.
A crudely-drawn map of the northeastern United States, with a blunted Maryland and only partial Virginia and West Virginia, shows a system extending only from Boston to Buffalo. In between, short-hop connections between Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, Albany, and Binghamton, connect to La Guardia, Hartford, and Boston-Logan. These upstate tier cities could only dream to have the hub status they once enjoyed here: most of these trips are now made by the New York Thruway, not via air. Atlantic City lies outside Mohawk's orbit, a distant dream.
Special Thanks to the excellent Departed Flights blog for access to its collection.
Monday, September 17, 2012
The evening departure board for the International Terminal E at Boston Logan Airport on Sunday, April 27, 2008. Between 6:20 an 9:40pm, there were ten flights to eight European cities on on eight airlines. Although only mid-Spring, Northwest Airlines was offering its two departures to Amsterdam Schiphol, as it still does on a summer schedule (although today it is Delta out of Terminal A). Northwest operated all its flights out of Terminal E, which is why Indianapolis and Detroit are shown during the 19:00 hour.
London is by far Logan's busiest overseas connection: here are two flights on British Airways and Virgin Atlantic to Heathrow, while over at Terminal B an American Airlines flight was also preparing to follow. Aer Lingus's departures to both sides of the Emerald Isle leave one after the other, the second stopping in Shannon. Other European flag carriers include Lufthansa to Munich, Iberia to Madrid, SWISS to Zurich, and Icelandair to Reykjavík, which lands at Keflavík International in a few short hours.
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Just twenty minutes of mid-weekday activity at Frankfurt Airport in late August 2012, showing departures (mostly of Lufthansa, naturally) as near as Salzburg and as far away as Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines and Charlotte on USAirways.
Saturday, September 15, 2012
The routes of Swissair, "to everywhere" only reached as far as Iraq, New York, Spain and Denmark in 1951.
Friday, September 14, 2012
A table of Air Malta weekly flights, showing 34 airports Malta's flag carrier serves on its own each week in the summer, and also 12 airports served by one of several partner airlines such as bmi, Brussels Airlines and Etihad. The airline serves a large number of cities in both Italy and Germany (including Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hanover, and Stuttgart), connecting several cities from each country every day to the Mediterranean island. There are no services to anywhere in nearby North Africa, however.
Monday, September 3, 2012
Continuing from the previous post, Aegean Airlines' right-hand side from the same map, showing mostly seasonal operations as far distant as St. Petersburg, Tblisi and Kuwait. Its farthest year-round destination seems to be Moscow. Budapest, just at the page's spine, and Istanbul are also connected to Athens, while a mini hub at Larnaca, Cyprus links to Thessaloniki, Athens, and a number the islands, especially the sizable airports at Chania and Heraklion on Crete, with an all-A320 fleet. The only airport in Asia served year-round appears to be Tel Aviv.
Sunday, September 2, 2012
An hour-and-a-half's worth of activity on an August Friday morning at Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport in Athens shows the contemporary extents of service out the Greek capital. Service across the Atlantic to both Toronto and Philadelphia by Air Canada and USAirways respectively, represent the long-haul, although MEA's flight to Beirut, the unusual Armavia's departure for Yerevan, and Cyprus Airways' service to Larnaca illustrate some of the varied services to the Near East that still exist out of Athens. Cyprus also offers its own service to Chania on Crete, while Star Alliance member Aegean Airlines and the still-barely-alive Olympic Air also service the many islands. Air France to Paris and Transavia to Amsterdam round out the next 90 minutes of activity.