Tuesday, February 21, 2012

KLM: The East Asian Routes, October 2011

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.

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