Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Gabon Airlines: Worldwide Network*, c.2010

After the previous post's historic example from the glory days of Air Gabon, in which that country's current flag carrier was briefly mentioned, it'd be appropriate to provide some more detail on that rather less celebratory successor, Gabon Airlines.

The erstwhile Air Gabon's angular, sharp-eyed, forest-green character has been replaced with a banal abstract assemblage, which is difficult to discern on the tiny B767 above, which spurts a toxic green contrail across the center of the continent as it roars off toward East Asia, away from any of the carrier's true destinations (which are equally difficult to discern, as discussed below). Gabon Airlines' flagship A340 sports no scheme whatsoever.

In comparison to the last post's Air Gabon network from three decades previous, its interesting to note that Metropolitan destinations (Nice, Marseille) and Rome are not shown above, with the most notable additions being Beirut and Dubai. In its home region, a thick array of Gulf of Guinea destinations lacks only Yaoundé and Kinshasa. Most curiously absent from the map is Gabon's second city, Port Gentil.

But this does not mean the airline does not serve it: Wikipedia's article on Gabon Airlines refers back to the carrier's website, which shows a recent schedule listing only Paris CDG, Marseille, Pointe-Noire, Libreville, and Port-Gentil. Its not clear whether these are recent adjustments to a larger systemwide network, or represent the entire extent of the carrier's services. Another section of the website theoretically allows for online purchases of tickets to destinations including Douala, Malabo, and São Tomé, as well as domestics services to Franceville and Moanda. But then this has only a scant relationship to the route map above, with its dozen other cities.

The unpainted A340 occasionally appearing at CDG Aerogare-1 truly represents Gabon Airlines: something of a mystery.

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