Friday, January 8, 2010

VASP to Osaka-Kansai (KIX), 1998

Sometimes evidence for erstwhile air connections is only uncovered in uncommon sources. Here are a few still frames from a 1998 episode of the series Superstructures, viewable on the excellent online video service Hulu. The man interviewed is discussing the trials of constructing the massive off-shore island airport (doesn't he seem a bit senior to be on a construction diving crew?)
Unmistakable in the immediate background over his left shoulder is a VASP MD-11, undoubtedly destined for Sao Paulo, perhaps via Los Angeles or San Francisco. VASP is a Timetablist favorite; there is something romantic about Sao Paulo being so leviathan that it had its own airline. Like seemingly 9 out of 10 Latin American carriers, it did not survive to the present day (see Lloyd Aero Boliviano, VARIG, Transbrasil, Viasa, etc).
In the far background of the above frames, you can see at least Northwest Airlines widebodies in bowling-shoe livery. As can be imagined, the 53 minute video is loaded with planespotting from a certain vintage, including previous United, Finnair, and Austrian paint schemes. Some of these, such as Austrian, have dropped service to Kansai/KIX-- there appears to have been something of an opening buzz about the place which fell away as the years went on.

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