Monday, June 30, 2014

Air Gabon: External and Internal Networks, early- to mid-1980s

This is a partial repost of one the delightful gems that feature with astonishing regularity at our fellow airline timetable blog, Airline Memorabilia: An un-dated, un-specified brochure of Air Gabon, guessed at to be from the early 1980s, and corresponding well to other artifacts posted here in the past of the now-defunct Gabonese flag carrier. Surely the international network are usual suspects: Lomé, Cotonou, Abidjan, and Dakar, and even at its tiny scale the world map shows a clump of electrical cords plugged in from Libreville to Marseille, Nice, Geneva, and surely Paris, and probably Rome.

Gabon was so French that it even had its own Air Inter: Air Inter Gabon, which apparently operated the circuit board at right: a staggeringly numerous network of intereur destinations—there appear to be nearly 30 in the New England-sized nation. Unfortunately, due the resolution of the file, the exact list of cities can only be guessed at comparing a map of the country with the graphic. Even The Encyclopedia of African Airlines chronicles only a handful of them. Clearly the coastal petrol station of Port-Gentil is linked along the coast, and the other coastal cities are almost certainly Iguela and Tchibanga.

There is an evident triskelion of air routes converging at the extreme southeast of the forested country, which is surely the city of Franceville and barely but clearly the very nearby center of Moanda is also shown. While larger towns such as Lambaréné and northernmost Oyem are unquestionably shown here as well as Bitam, Koulamoutou, Makokou, Mayoumba, and Mouila, but there were at least a dozen others at the time. Only a higher-res graphic would shed light.

Thanks as always to the generosity of the first-rate Airline Memorabilia blog for uncovering and sharing this unique item. 

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