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.
Sunday, August 19, 2012
the previous post, showing the Pacific portion of CP Air's October 1978 route network. Vancouver dominates as the airline's home base, with strong showings a the prairie capitals of Calgary, Edmonton, and Winnipeg. All four western Canadian cities are connected to Honolulu, which is merely a way station for further stops at the international airport at Nadi (here spelled Nandi) in Fiji, finally finishing at Sydney. A single Asian route links Vancouver to Tokyo and Hong Kong. Routes out of Vancouver also link California, and further down the Pacific coast to Acapulco and Lima, as shown in the earlier post. An extensive domestic network across Northwestern Canada extends as far as Whitehorse.
Particularly key was the European gateway of Amsterdam, which lined to four Canadian cities: Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg and Toronto, although somewhat oddly not its primary airport, Vancouver. CP Air jets also departed Toronto for Milan, and Rome, with onward service to Athens from both Rome and Amsterdam. Rome and Lisbon, but not Amsterdam, were served from Montreal, which also enjoyed service to Mexico City. Toronto was also linked to Mexico City as well as Acapulco and Lima. Whether the continuing service from Lima to Santiago, finally terminating at Buenos Aires, were originally from Toronto or Vancouver is unclear.
CP Air also connected all its international gateways, except Montreal, to Honolulu, from whence it plunged far south to Antipodea. CP Air's Pacific operations, shown above, will be detailed in the following post.
Saturday, August 18, 2012
Like its rival Japan Air Lines, All Nippon Airways, the first customer for the B787 Dreamliner, has been rapidly deploying the plane on new routes made suddenly-viable with the new aircraft's advanced capabilities and economics. One of these is to Seattle-Tacoma, although the special note indicate that the route will commence with a B777, prior to the delivery of a B787 model.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Continuing from the previous post, this detail of Delta's January 2012 route map shows the airline's numerous routes spreading out of its Tokyo Narita hub to Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok, Taipei, Busan, Seoul, Shanghai, Manila, the latter also served from Nagoya, whereas the Micronesian islands of Saipan, Guam and Palau are also served from mainland Japan, including Osaka-Kansai. Numerous routes lead off to the right to the United States, as shown in the previous post. A score of mainland Chinese cities, dotted in blue to indicate connection via SkyTeam parents such as Korean Air, China Eastern, and China Southern, beckons before the curvature of the earth at left.
A map from the beginning of the year showing Delta's crisscrossing of the north Pacific. The remnants of Northwest Airlines half-century of service across the rim of the Pacific is clearly evident with Tokyo as a through-put hub, and Detroit, acting successfully if somewhat curiously as the primary Asian gateway of the long-haul system, as well as also keeping Minneapolis connected to Narita. Added to this are Delta's old standby, Atlanta, and its upstart hub at Salt Lake City (the first time Utah's capital has been mentioned on Timetablist).
Non-hubs Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco enjoy non-stops to Tokyo, and Portland, Oregon also continues to be blessed with a prestigious non-stop to Japan. Seattle has actually fared better under Delta than under Northwest: the Department of Transportation awarded a highly-lucrative non-stop to Beijing, the only entry point aside from Detroit, and a Sea-Tac to Kansai connection. Detroit also has the only transocean flight to Hong Kong, whereas Atlanta was granted DOT approval for a non-stop to Shanghai-Pudong (although this route was ultimately unsuccessful and has since been suspended). Lastly are a trio of lucrative connections between Honolulu and mainland Japan, including Osaka and Nagoya.
Note that Delta serves Haneda now also, as many international carriers scrambled to do. Tucked in between the massive Narita operation and the new mainland China gateways is Seoul Incheon, where Delta's SkyTeam partner, Korean Air, has its super hub, although Delta only links to the mainland US via Detroit (Korean Air serves Atlanta). Now that both China Eastern and China Southern are part of SkyTeam, mainland connections may be just as important.
The following post will detail the Asian portion of the map, showing connections from Narita to Southeast Asia.
Thursday, July 26, 2012
From an overly-helpful website of a travel agency specializing in Madagascar, this Air Madagascar route map from half a decade ago shows its routes to neighboring islands and mainland Africa from October 2005-March 2006.
Monday, July 23, 2012
yesterday's post, the current domestic network of Mozambique's flag carrier shown via an attractively spare Adobe Illustrator job, found on its website. Flights fan out from the capital in the south to nearly every one of its eight national destinations, but every city is connected to at least two others, with several routes running out from the regional centers. Connections criss-cross on the belt at Beira and Quelimane, reaching to the northern capitals of Nampula and Pemba. A route from Tete to distant Lichinga crosses over Malawian airspace.
Sunday, July 22, 2012
The well-tended website of Mozambique's state carrier, Linhas Aereas de Moçambique, features a handsomely spare route map. Although the online image shows the entire globe, LAM's routes are almost entirely confined to southern Africa as shown here. It is therefore curious that Asia and the Americas are included, as LAM serves neither and in fact only recently was able to re-enter the ex-African market with its return to Lisbon this year. There is a strong emphasis on not only other continents but connecting carriers' services, which quite strangely are shown in solid lines on the map, while the airline's own network is only depicted in faint dotted lines: the effect is to blur distinctions and make LAM's own operations diminished.
While the scope of LAM's presence is small, it impressively flies internationally from what appears to be no less than eight of its ten domestic airports: flies to Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam come out of northeastern Nampula and Pemba, whereas Joanesburgo is served from five cities. There is also a nonstop from Maputo to Cape Town. Somewhat strangely, it appears that the flight to Luanda originates from Inhambane, and the flight to Lisbon on LAM's own wings appears to stop in Beira-- perhaps these are cartographic errors?
Saturday, July 21, 2012
Staying in southern Africa: Timetablist has featured a very similar envelope in the past, recognizing Linhas Aereas de Moçambique's service 1983 to Berlin from Maputo, via Lisbon. However, this particular item seems to be principally introducing not just the route but also the aircraft, the Primeiro Voo of a DC-10, which here roars to a landing, facing the viewer straight on. The cancellation stamp is impressed twice, featuring LAM's handsome spread-wing songbird logo. Note also the Fokker friendship in the colors of LAM's ancestor, DETA, on the postage stamp.
LAM has survived to the present day but is shamefully not currently serving Europe, due to the European Union's categorization that no carriers certified by Mozambique's aviation regulatory bodies may enter European airspace. However, given Mozambique's booming economy, demand for intercontinental airline seats is surely rising, and perhaps LAM's fortunes will rise with it.
Friday, July 20, 2012
This is particularly true as the state carrier at the time seemed to serve only Frankfurt and London Gatwick (interestingly via Larnaca) beyond Africa, aside a somewhat curious Harare-Perth-Sydney service, with a UM flight number but operated by a B747. As there is no other source which records this venture, it suggests that Air Zim was wishfully assigning a codeshare as its own metal.
A decade later, the airline's schedule would pivot away from Antipodean and Anglophone areas and orient itself along the Africa-Asia-China axis (as seen yesterday) which has been a major story of the 21st century.
This item is borrowed from the incredible blog airline-memorabilia.blogspot.com which uncovered this 15-year old gem. The Timetablist is indebted to the Airline Memorabilia Blog for its continued support and the privilege of reposting these timetable pages.
Thursday, July 19, 2012
An Air Zimbabwe timetable from last year, some 14 years after yesterday's map, shows an airline no longer limited to Southern Africa, but with less service within the region also.
Such important connections as Cape Town, Durban, and Nairobi are gone, although the service to Lusaka now connects to Lubumbashi in the DR Congo. The furtive crossing of the Indian Ocean to Mauritius has now been replaced with a quixotic Asian connection to Beijing via Kuala Lumpur. The prestigious London route has been restored.
While the aircraft livery has been updated and a global reach has been achieved, Air Zimbabwe continues to be plagued with problems, and indeed was grounded in the time between this schedule's printing and now.