Wednesday, February 29, 2012
The 7 o'clock hour at Brussels Airport shows a continued array of European airlines to other European airports large (Frankfurt) and small (Billund), some of them more unusual (such as Finnair to Helsinki, or LOT to Warsaw) than others. But unquestionably the most exotic carrier taking off for the most distant and unique destination is at ten minutes past the hour: Ethiopian's ET709 to Addis Ababa via Milan.
Early evening at Brussels Airport means departures by and large within Western Europe, mostly by Brussels Airlines, along with Air France, British Airways, Alitalia, Iberia and TAP. The only exceptions to this are the Eastern European carriers: Croatia Airlines to Zagreb and TAROM Romanian Airlines to Bucharest. The only non-EU flight is El AL to Tel Aviv at 7:00pm.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The late afternoon at Brussels Airport is dominated by flights by mainline carriers, many of them run by Brussels Airlines. These are interspersed with two more distant, exotic destinations: Royal Air Maroc to Casablanca and Turkish Airlines to Istanbul.
Mid-afternoon at Brussels Airport in early January 2012 shows a number of flights to nearby European cities. One interesting departure is FlyBE's flight to the Isle of Man via Southampton, followed a quarter of an hour later is airBaltic's flight to its Riga home base. Small flights on Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, KLM, LOT, Swiss, and BMI take off thereafter. The only non-European destination after 1:00PM is Egyptair's non-stop MS726 to Cairo.
Monday, February 27, 2012
About an hour and half of mid-day flights fill in the bottom of the Zavantem Airport departure boarding. Everything is on schedule except its already known that Ukraine International's flight to Kiev is already running late.
Two of Brussels's handful of East Asian visitors leave in this time period: Hainan Airlines to Beijing and Thai Airways to Bangkok. At quarter past noon, a Tunisair flight to Djerba and Monastir leaves just before Aeroflot's flight to Moscow Sheremetyevo. There is also a 1:30 flight on Syrianair to Damascus via Beirut.
As it approaches 11:30am in Brussels, several long-haul flights are closing their doors: United to Chicago (its flight to Washington is ten minutes after noon), and Brussels Airlines SN263 to Ouagadougou and Cotonou.
There are two delayed flights to London at the top of the board, and a Finnair flight to Helsinki is on final call.
There are several Mediterranean destinations up until mid-day: Turkish to Istanbul, Tunisair to Tunis, Alitalia to Rome; just thereafter is an Iberia connection to Madrid, an El Al departure to Tel Aviv and a Royal Air Maroc flight AT683 to Tangier.
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Jet Airways, India's premier international carrier, operates a so-called "scissors hub" out of Brussels National Airport, connecting its North American destinations (New York-JFK, Newark, and Toronto) and its subcontinental bases (Mumbai, Chennai, and Delhi), so that eat many times there may be multiple Jet Airways wide bodies parked at the terminals at Zavantem. The above advertisement is from a backlit billboard above the departures hall at BRU.
Saturday, February 25, 2012
The second screen flashing on the arrivals channel at the Brussels Airport Sheraton also features an overnight Brussels Airlines flight from equatorial Africa, this one the Kinshasa-Yaoundé SN354, but is otherwise a bit more diversified: shown here is Ethiopian Airlines own service into Brussels from Addis Ababa, via Milan Malpensa, and at the close of the hour the two blades of Jet Airways's scissor hub begin to close in on Zavantem, as nonstops from Toronto, Newark, New York-JFK, and Delhi arrive within a span of five minutes. In between, a handful of classic flag-carrier short-hauls from nearby EU hubs touchdown: KLM from Amsterdam and Lufthansa from Frankfurt.
Friday, February 24, 2012
An early morning broadcast of the arrivals schedule for Brussels National Airport in January 2012, broadcast on the televisions in the guest rooms at the Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel. Although the first flight in is a charter from Casablanca, the screen is dominated by Brussels Airlines's overnight arrivals from tropical Africa: the Cotonou-Ouagadougou SN264, Conakry-Banjul SN224, and Kigali-Entebbe SN465. Also an early flight from Domodedovo Airport in Moscow, and a United Airlines B777 service from Washington Dulles.
Thursday, February 23, 2012
Similar to yesterday's post, this interactive map is from Austrian Airlines's website but shows its Star Alliance sister, Brussels Airlines, and its routes to Africa.
The route lines themselves are delightfully stylized into bouquet-like bunches, but do not reflect actual flight patterns from Brussels, which often triangulate between two African cities and Belgium, such as Abidjan and Monrovia.
Other cities which are marked but not named indicate the destinations of yet other Star Alliance Partners, as well as Brussels Airlines itself-- no less than its premiere African destination, Kinshasa, is not labeled here, perhaps suggesting that Austrian does not codeshare on the route. BMI, which reaches Freetown in West Africa and Addis Ababa in the east, is also shown in the key at the far bottom left as a possible partner.
Note that Brussels is closing its Accra station one month from the date of this post--its rare that a route to Africa, especially booming Ghana, is not a success.
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
A screen shot from the evening of 11 November 2011, from KLM's delightful flight tracking utility from the airline's website, revealing some of the Dutch airline's unique destinations in the region.
Icons of a handful of jets, all making their way south of the Sahara from Schiphol, are mostly nearing their destinations: Flight to Accra is still on the Algeria-Mali border, while the thrice-weekly Flight #KL577 to Kano is still over Niger. As has been mentioned in previous posts, KLM is the last European airline to serve the northern Nigerian metropolis. Nearby, the nightly Flight #KL587 into Lagos is brushing over the northeasternmost section of Benin before its initial descent.
On the other side of Africa, Flight #KL567/569/571, which may have stopped in Arusha/Kilimanjaro airport, is on final approach to Dar Es Salaam, while the Flight KLM#535/537 from Kigali is already heading north back to Entebbe, a route which at the time of this viewing had just passed its one-year anniversary. The two non stops from Amsterdam to South Africa, to #KL597 Cape Town and #KL591 to Johannesburg, are over Namibia and Zambia, respectively. Amsterdam is the only European city besides London which is connected to Cape Town.
At the upper left, a trio of Gulf-bound Flying Dutchmen cluster over Kuwait on their way to either Dammam, Doha, Dubai or Abu Dhabi, or perhaps even Muscat. Whereas a number of international airlines used to serve King Fahd International in Dammam, KLM is one of the few that remains.
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
From KLM's Holland Herald in-flight magazine of last autumn: a route map of East Asia. Its easy to spot the Flying Dutch North-Holland sky-blue lines, spreading rightward from Schiphol (not shown) across the Asian landmass and bowing down to reach seven Chinese cities, a roster which includes the unusual intercontinental destinations of Chengdu, Xiamen, and Hangzhou-- the latter the so-called Amsterdam of the East, whose canal-laden center lies just a short drive south of Shanghai, which Royal Dutch Airlines also serves.
The map is made more difficult to read as all of the global SkyTeam partners' systems are crammed in as well, especially Korean Air's super vortex swirling out of Incheon, from whence it serves a number of mainland cities itself. As to China, a spaghetti of orange lines wraps across the Middle Kingdom, representing China Southern Airlines's vast system. Guangzhou is enlarged to represent its home hub, although this is not a city which KLM has successfully connected with Amsterdam. While it is nearly impossible to make sense of the several secondary Chinese cities' connections--one can barely make out Chongqing, for instance--it is a bit easier to read China Southern's operations out of far-west Ürümqi.
Further south, the barbell network of Vietnam Airlines, one of the more minor SkyTeam partners, blasts out of the bipoles of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
Monday, February 20, 2012
A print and online advertisement for Singapore Airlines flight deals to China via this website. SIA serves a number of mainland cities, and its little sister, SilkAir, serves even more. In the case of Shenzhen, Singapore Airlines actually withdrew its mainline services after a foray in 2005-06, and instead SilkAir now serves the city. The advertisements list both airlines but don't specify which airline's metal lands at which city.
Sunday, February 19, 2012
Two web-ads promoting the destinations of Kunming Airlines, a small, young Chinese airline, from its un-Romanized website. One advertisement uses the old roadside directional-signs-on pole image to note the cities, while the other seems to have devolved from an archaic compass-and-parchment map idea to then be overlaid with warped jpgs of the cities in question.
Both advertisements boast the same three flight schedules: Kunming-Changzhou (常州) -Dalian; a second, zigzagging route from Kunming to Chongqing and then Taizhou (台州) in Zhejiang Province; and thirdly a north-south Kunming-Changsha-Shijiazhuang line.
The airline's Wikipedia article lists a different roster of routes, but that is probably out of date, having been last updated in 2009. Commercial aviation in China is growing rapidly, and little Kunming airlines has only been in existence since 2005. Kunming Airlines's home page offers fares on flights to Xiamen, Guiyang, Harbin, Shenzhen, Qingdao, and Nanning as well as other cities across central China.
Saturday, February 18, 2012
Depart Grandly to Hong Kong, a major milestone for the regional Chinese airline Tianjin Airlines, which presumably commenced on 15 July, as stated in a web-ad from its own homepage, wherein it refers to itself by its GS flight code. Another link indicates that this was July 2011.
One of its jetliners soars between the Bank of China and the lesser-known skyscrapers of its namesake and home base, Tianjin. Its unclear what the "Gorgeous Jiulong" refers to; presumably to Kowloon.
Friday, February 17, 2012
A web-ad from Tianjin Airlines's own home page, celebrating the airline's Tianjin-Hohhot (here transcribed Huhehot)-Ulaan Baator, linking the airline's namesake and home base on the Yellow Sea with the capitals on Inner and Outer Mongolia. The lovely slogan, Depart Grandly, is emblazoned above two cityscapes, clipped into the shapes of shaking hands.
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Continuing from the previous post, a detail of Tianjin Airlines's English-language website route map, showing the southern portion of the airlines array of destinations. Despite being a northerly airline, the airline has a strong presence in China's south, from Hainan Island to the mouth of the Yangtze Delta region. Like a classroom map, each province is depicted by one of four light shades, which includes Taiwan, although Taipei is not served.
The destination map from Tianjin Airlines's English-language website, which, like Shandong Airlines's map, is only partially interactive and is not itself Romanized. Visitors can scroll their cursor over the cities' (Chinese) names, which then enlarge, but these cannot then be selected to show routes from that city, as is common on more advanced interactive maps. The message also blots out a central part of the territory, concealing a handful of destinations. Altogether it makes for only a cursory understanding of the airlines's system.
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Although named for, and based in, a northern province, Shandong Airlines serves most of the major cities of China's south and southwest, from the Cantonese capitals of Guangzhou and Shenzhen to the several massive cities in the Shanghai region, to Sanya on Hainan Island, Sichuan, and even Lhasa in Tibet. A few of the destination dots here are unlabeled. Taipei in Taiwan is also served.
The top half of Shandong Airlines's semi-interactive online destination map, from its website, which at least has an English-language version, unlike some of its sister carriers. The flight routes, whose addition is awaited at the direction of the yellow message box at center, never materialized on a recent visit. Such information would have been enlightening, as the fast-growing airlines of China do not have up-to-date articles on Wikipedia, although that reporting, from July 2010, also lists international flights to Korea and Japan, which are not shown here.
It can be presumed that the major cities of the Shandong Province, principally its supercity Qingdao and its capital Jinan are primary hubs, but most of the major cities of the northeast: Shenyang, Dalian, Tianjin, as well as Beijing itself and the large cities at its south such as Shijiazhuang, Xi'an and Zhengzhou, are all noted here, as is far-off Urumqi.
The next post will feature the lower half of the same map.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
Continuing from the previous post, showing the southern section of Shenzhen Airlines' large network. Beyond its home province of Guangdong, and the many cities served across the heartland of China, Shenzhen Air serves eight southeast Asian cities, which are shown here in a sort of lazy, partial outline trace of the landmasses upon which they lie: only three of Indonesia's many islands are shown for the purposes of Jakarta, Bali, and Singapore; Peninsular Malaysia forms another losenge-shaped island above Sumatra, disconnected from a truncated Thailand, which itself lies awkwardly next to Vietnam, with Cambodia and Laos not bothered with. Of the Philippine archipelago, only the main island of Luzon is shown for Manila. Taiwan is colored in the same green as the mainland PRC.
Like Chengdu, the southern supercity of Shenzhen has its own namesake airline.
Unlike the posts from earlier this month, the super-dense city labels of Shenzhen Airlines's destination map are Romanized, but feature some interesting spellings, seemingly rendered directly from Chinese: Urumqi is transcribed as Wulumuqi, and Harbin is Haerbin. Like Hainan Airlines, the route network that connects these cities in not featured, so it is difficult to determine just how interconnected these cities are.
The next post will detail some of the southernly services, including an array of international flights to many of the capitals of southeast Asia.
Sunday, February 12, 2012
Today, China has such a great many airlines, many named solely after a certain large city. Although the massive province of Sichuan has its own Sichuan Airlines, its capital, colossal Chengdu, also has its own namesake carrier, 成都航空有限公司.
Chengdu Airlines most-recent route map from its website is shown above. The landmass of the People's Republic is made of cloud, a lovely detail, over which is laid the sizable network of the regional carrier, which seems to be expanding rapidly, as its Wikipedia article, updated only a year ago, shows only 15 destinations.
For the English-speaker, the network is still a bit mysterious, as only the Chinese characters are used to label the destinations. Thanks to Google Translate, we can establish many of the principal airports that Chengdu Airlines flies to:
北京 Beijing 宁波 Ningbo
长沙 Changsha 上海 Shanghai
成都 Chengdu 阳 Shenyang
重庆 Chongqing 深圳 Shenzhen
大连 Dalian 石家庄 Shijiazhuang
福州 Fuzhou 乌鲁木齐 Urumqi
广州 Guangzhou 武汉 Wuhan
杭州 Hangzhou 西安 Xi'an
昆明 Kunming 厦门 Xiamen
The great number of routes out of Chengdu's Shuangliu International Airport itself (成都) are clear, and the hub is marked by the tailfin emblazoned with the company's logo. Further east, the airline appears to have a focal point at Changsha (长沙) and a serves many coastal cities in the massive Shanghai megalopolis: beyond Hongqiao airport, Nanjing (南京), Ningbo (宁波) and Hangzhou (杭州) are also shown here.
Farther north, the great Capital Airport at Beijing (北京) is represented by a diminutive star, with only a single route connecting it. As far as Chengdu Airlines own network is concerned, the northern focus city is apparently Shijiazhuang (石家庄 ), in Hebei province, southwest of Beijing.
The huge factory of the country, in Guangdong province, is underserved, with only a few routes connecting Guangzhou (广州) and Shenzhen (深圳). In the northwest, a pair of long routes land at the capital of Xinjiang, Urumqi (乌鲁木齐).
Saturday, February 11, 2012
The dense domestic destination map for Hainan Airlines, which uniquely color-codes cities by their political status, with blue labels marking a "Municipality & Provincial Capital" and a light-green label designating a "Non-provincial capital" with most cities pinpointed by black dots. However, no less than eight cities--chief among them Beijing, Xi'an, Dalian, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Urumqi, and Haikou--are represented by Hainan's new phoenix-wing emblem, which the key simply notes as a "base of Hainan Airlines." The map lacks route lines which would better explain Hainan's mainland system--but its an attractive illustration, nonetheless, and unquestionably an impressive operation.
Friday, February 10, 2012
Several pages of the most-current Hainan Airlines timetable, featuring the impressive five-continent reach of China's only Skytrax Five-Star Airline. Services include a trio of B-class European cities: Berlin, Brussels, and Budapest, as well as a service from Urumqi, capital of Chinese Turkestan, to Istanbul.
Also included are a pair of Siberian cities: Irkutsk and Novosibirsk; several important Asia-Pacific cities, such as Busan, Sydney, and Singapore, as well as the airline's much-noted service to Luanda, Angola via Dubai. The airline's daily non-stop between Beijing and Seattle, its only American service, is shown as well.
Thursday, February 9, 2012
A second post of the same item, labeling the destinations of Hong Kong Airlines across the mainland PRC, Southeast Asia from Hanoi to Denpasar, Bali; Japan, and Moscow.
A map of "some of the routes" from Hainan Airlines's most-recent timetable, showing its services to Europe, Asia, Africa and North America, with a second array of more regional routes of Hong Kong Airlines from Chep Lap Kok, which are detailed in the next post.
Note that the airlines only overlap at Beijing, Moscow, and Bangkok, but that the latter is shown twice in a layout which only approximates the true geographic relations of the destinations.
Wednesday, February 8, 2012
Romania's Blue Air promises super-cheap flights from Belgium to Bucharest and the Black Sea aboard its Boeing 737 fleet. Blue Air previously flew to Charleroi, and its reach across Western Europe has waxed and waned since its 2004 founding. A travel agency on Rue du Progrès handles ticketing in Brussels.
Tuesday, February 7, 2012
Continuing our retrospective of the 66-year history of now-collapsed Malév, today's feature is this gorgeous vintage envelope celebrating Hungarian Airlines's flight from Budapest to Istanbul. A dusty blue field, sporting a thick, whimsical seriffed script of the airline, becomes the contrail of a turboprop, soaring over a cluster of minarets and domes, recalling the Ottomon-era links between the two capitals. This illustration is nearly identical to the photomontage in the red stamp at center, which features a Malév craft angling over an eastern skyline. Interestingly, the text is entirely in English.
Sunday, February 5, 2012
A two-page spread from Belleair's in-flight magazine features the Albanian airlines's somewhat aspirational route map of Europe. Existing destinations--presumably all from Tirana--are some twenty Italian airports plus Stuttgart, Zurich, Liege in Belgium, and Pristina, in Kosovo. These are surrounded by a number of other capitals, which are given equal billing but designated with yellow and blue points. These are charter destinations (in blue) and "future destinations" (in yellow)-- what plans are in the works to reach Dortmund or Dresden, Maastricht or Malmö is not made clear, but the lovely cursive script at upper left declares that Belleair is "growing together."
Saturday, February 4, 2012
The national network of Alitalia around 1969, sporting the "ATI" (Aero Transporti Italia) emblem at top. With its "barbell" pattern of centers at Rome and Milan, and a large number of routes out of Naples, Turin, and Venice, the system connected more than a dozen airports on the mainland boot and multiple cities on the large islands of Sicily and Sardinia, as well as the smaller and more distant Pantelleria and Lampedusa.
A box at lower-right shows a zoomed-in route map for Elivie, the helicopter-line subsidiary of Alitalia, which ran passenger operations out of Naples to Capri and Ischia. If this item is correctly dated to 1969, it would be the last year of Elivie's operations, which was closed in 1970.
Friday, February 3, 2012
Another iteration of a previously-featured series of postcard route maps for Malév Hungarian Airlines, which sadly ceased flying this morning after 66 years of continuous operation. Here were the two principal routes from Budapest Ferihegy to Italy, one route to Milano, the other, via Florence, to Rome. both routes stopped in Zagreb and Venice, splitting at Ferrara.
Wednesday, February 1, 2012
A map which accompanied a recent Washington Post article on the increasingly-frequent use of narrowbody B757s on increasingly long routes to Europe from the East Coast, which inevitably end up as less than nonstop when facing winter jet streams. The article singles out United/Continental for this colorful graphic, but the text also mentions USAirways routes out of Philadelphia and American Airlines's rampant employment of the 757. The article also lists several unusual airports receiving unscheduled intercontinental flights, such as Bangor, Maine, Albany, and Stewart Airport in Newburgh, New York.