Friday, January 20, 2012

Thai Airways International: Worldwide Network, 1985

Although not the size and reach of the present day, Thai Airways at the end of the 1980s already at the impressive reach, as the sharp angled geometry of this unique route map so dashingly illustrates: from the half-hexagon of the Tokyo-Seattle-Dallas/Fort Worth jaunt, to the fingers spreading across the Middle East, although these hit on contemporary destinations such as Riyadh, Dhahran, and Kuwait instead of the 21st century trifecta of Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

From here, the lines continue west, extending into a knot of European destinations, among them Athens, Rome, and Copenhagen--Thai is still today virtually the only Asian presence at Kastrup. Despite the angularity of the route lines, the relative positions of cities are generally true, with the lone exception of Muscat, shown somewhere north of Baghdad in an offshoot of the link between Karachi and Paris.

Closer to the center of its world, the map's thick marks show multiple links across East and South Asia, with dense operations particularly in Hong Kong, Taipei and Singapore as well as smaller cities from Kathmandu to Osaka, as well as four cities in Australia. Thai Airways lived up to the "International" in its name, years before it reached New York and Los Angeles.

Route map from the abundant archives of

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