Friday, October 25, 2013
Brazil dominates commercial aviation in South America today, but four decades ago Rio de Janeiro was the primary gateway to the continent's southern cone, with Sao Paulo just another way station on the routes to Asuncion and Santiago, without, apparently so much as a link to Montevideo and Buenos Aires, at least not on VARIG. Manaus is a more important gateway, with connections to Bogota and Mexico City via Panama, as well as an Andean-hopper terminating at Iquitos, Peru. Recife and Salvador, and Belem all have flights into Europe, with the latter also linked to Cayenne and Paramaraibo, as well as Miami.
See the previous post for the global view of the VARIG route map of 1973.
Thursday, October 24, 2013
The International route network of VARIG Brazilian Airlines in 1973 is a fascinating glimpse into a bygone world of flag carriers. Far more European cities are linked directly or indirectly with Brazil by its main airline than today, an indecipherable tangle of routes connects even tertiary airports such as Geneva and Copenhagen. The network funnels together at Rio de Janeiro, with Sao Paulo a tiny dot in Rio's shadow; today Sao Paulo is by far the dominant gateway into South America. Also note the southern Atlantic routes, particularly to Lagos and Cape Town. Ironic that four decades later this rising economic giant does boast a global carrier with an equal reach on continental Europe or Africa.
See the following post for a detail on the South American section of VARIG's network.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
An original design by Airlineroutemaps.com shows the network of Cape Verdean flag carrier, TACV. Few airlines could boast such an impressive size-to-reach ratio, with the tiny company connecting four continents on both sides of the Atlantic. From Praia, the national capital, flights hop to nearby Dakar and Bissau on the mainland; the largest regional hub and the nearby Lusophone capital.
The motherland is well served also, with three flights to the Iberian peninsula in total: to the two busiest Portuguese airports, Lisbon and Porto, as well as Madrid. Paris, Amsterdam, and Milan are all served from Sal, with Munich connected via a stop in Las Palmas.
In the New World, the giant Portuguese-speaking Brazil is linked from the closest large city, Fortaleza, while larger, closer airports in North America are bypassed in favor of Boston, hub of America's largest Portuguese-speaking immigrant communities; New England boasts the largest Cape Verdean population outside of the islands themselves. TACV uses a B757 on the route.
Friday, October 11, 2013
The last departures before midnight on a Sunday evening at Munich's airport in August of this year reveals many of Bavaria's more exotic visitors: South African Airways to Johannesburg, and Turkish to Izmir, and Emirates to Dubai, with long-haul services by Lufthansa from its second-biggest hub to Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Of shorter duration is an Easyjet hop to London Gatwick. Before midnight there are two flights to Moscow, one on S7 to Domodedovo and one on Aeroflot to Sheremetyevo. There is an El Al flight to Tel Aviv. There are also charter services to Palma de Mallorca and Antalya.
Monday, October 7, 2013
The television arrivals screen at Dresden airport in Germany on a Friday in August of 2013, showing many internal flights on Lufthansa from Munich and Frankfurt, and on Air Berlin from Düsseldorf. Easyjet has a single service on the board from Basel. Air Berlin also flies in from Antalya, Turkey, and Germanwings arrives from Cologne with an earlier service in from Corfu, which is not the sole Greek Isle connection shown on the board, as there is a later charter arrival on Pegasus from Kos.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
In addition to its impressive array of African destinations, Turkish Airlines, now the world's seventh largest carrier, is heavily focussed on services to Germany, principally given the large number of Turkish immigrants, so it offers flights to a dozen German cities, in many cases offering some of the few services outside of the European Union from smaller airports such as Bremen, and tiny Friedrichshafen on the Bodensee. Most flights are to Istanbul Ataturk. Larger urban centers, including Düsseldorf, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt host multiple, daily operations to a half dozen Turkish cities, including leisure destinations like Antalya as well as secondary urban centers such as Adana and Trabzon.
Friday, October 4, 2013
It's surprisingly anachronistic to find a printed timetable in 2013, complete with glossy dust-jacket and newspaper-thin black-and-white sheets inside. Yet Turkish Airlines still apparently publishes such a volume, which displays the breadth of what is suddenly the world's sixth largest airline.
To illustrate the density of this nascent megacarrier, the timetable shows several maps of the airline's vast, pentacontinental network. Here is the astonishing variety of the airline's destinations in Africa, where it has eclipsed its many European rivals in terms of number of cities served, and is well ahead of even the Gulf super-carriers in its sub-Saharan system, as it has landed in airports as uncommon as Nouakchott and Niamey, Kilimanjaro and Kinshasa, Mombasa and Mogadishu. The arrival of a Turkish B737-800 in the Somali capital last year made global headlines, and more recently a Turkish firm won the contract to administer the airport. Note the Turkish spelling as Djibouti as Cibuti.
Further expansion is underway, another Turkish B737-800 will land at N'Djamena via Kano before year's end.