Sunday, September 25, 2011

South African Airways: Re-introduction of Johannesburg-Kinshasa service, 1994

Although two years after the issuance of the envelope in the previous post, this item still sports the apartheid-era Nassau Orange and Navy color scheme, and uses only South Africa's European languages. Sent in the same year as the election of Nelson Mandela, the purpose of this envelope was instead to celebrate the reappearance of South African flights on the continent of Africa itself, much of which had been off-limits due to anti-apartheid sanctions.

Although the service to Zaïre was the focus of this cover, the better part of the paper is taken up with a full, worldwide route map, showing SAA/SAL's trans-Indian services from Mauritius to Perth and Sydney, as well as Hong Kong and Taipei; a fascinating Rio de Janeiro focus city, linking New York and Buenos Aires to both Cape Town and Johannesburg; the service to Houston; and a dense interweave of lines around West Africa and across the Sahara to a multitude of European cities.

Without labels, its unclear what stop-overs were employed on these services, and what angles on the map are merely changes of direction, not pit-stops. This is especially the case as much of the continent had still not reauthorized the presence of the airline (note the pin balling of the route in and out of Abidjan, and the routes skirting around Madagascar). It seems certain that Europe was reached from a variety of refueling stations from Cape Verde and Canaries to Kano, Khartoum and Cairo.

No comments:

Post a Comment