Monday, July 2, 2012

Air France: Voyage de Concorde a Abidjan, January 1978

A rather speedier journey to Abidjan from yesterday's routing is this direct flight of Air France's Concorde on 11 January 1978. Apparently, this was a charter flight for le President de la République to travel to Paris, which he and his entourage apparently did in just under 3.5 hours; supersonic service to Cote D'Ivoire was not a regularly scheduled operation, and chartering Air France's Concorde was neither the most extravagant expenditure that Felix Houphouët-Boigny commanded as head of state, nor indeed even the only francophone African leader to borrow Concordes for personal trips to Europe (Zaïrean President Mobutu Sese Seko was famous for this as well, even building a Concorde-capable airport at his hometown of Gbadolite).

Its not clear just what the blue-inked edifice at the lower center of the envelope is meant to be. Air France's dashing new ribbon-tricolore branding, introduced that same year, is prominent at the far left and on the center of the cancellation stamp.

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