Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Alitalia: The African Routes & Schedules, 1973.

A detail of the previous post, originally put up at Airline Memorabilia, showing the astonishing array of African routes operated by Alitalia forty-one years ago.

The jagged cartography reveals a busy system, with almost all flights were out of Rome, although the second line to Dakar links directly to Milan, which continued on to South America. The rest of West Africa is well served by individual flights to Abidjan, Accra, and Lagos, with an onward connection to Douala. Airline Memorabilia scanned in the full schedule, which shows a quad-jet fleet of DC-8s, B707s and even VC-10s humming across the Sahara to seventeen cities.

East Africa was even more thoroughly interconnected, with four routes from Rome, including the curious Athens-Entebbe-Lusaka; two which covered the colonial connections to the Horn of Africa: Jeddah-Asmara-Addis Ababa and Khartoum-Addis Ababa-Mogadishu, and finally a plunging trans-Indian Ocean route: Nairobi-Dar Es Salaam-Antananarivo-Mauritius. In the schedule below, a footnote helpfully details that connections are available at Dar to/from the Comores Islands.

The cone of Africa was by comparison only lightly linked, with a Nairobi-Johannesburg and a Kinshasa-Johannesburg route. The third link to Jo'berg, a long-haul nonstop from Fiumicino.

Of all these cities, Alitalia only serves Accra and Lagos today.

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