Wednesday, September 21, 2011
South African Airways: Round the Bulge to Europe, 1988
A bizarre supremacist celebration: the 25-year anniversary of West African states barring the flag carrier of White-imposed racial segregation on the African continent from using their air space-- but celebrated not by the enforcing bloc of nations, but by the embargoed state and its carrier.
A B707, which may be included to indicate the original bulge-buster, and perhaps not in use by the late 1980s, is shown over a map with routes originating from Johannesburg and Salisbury (note that it had long been renamed Harare by the Mugabe government in 1982, an appellation that the white SAA/SAL management apparently refused to concede) connecting to both Luanda and Brazzaville, before exiting the African mainland to skirt Cap Vert, refueling at the Canaries, and landing in Europe at Lisbon. From there, the routes split into four branches: east across the Med, northeasterly to Zurich and Frankfurt, and north to Paris and London.
This is a much more extensive European array than today, when SAA is unrestricted by anti-apartheid legislation (and has much longer-haul aircraft).