Monday, July 14, 2014

Alitalia: The Intercontinental Network, 1973

Another historic relic from Airline Memorabilia, a newsprint amp arrayed with the bright-green lines of the great Italian flag carrier of 1973. Truly "Italy's World Airline."

Unlike today, Alitalia of forty years ago was a six-continent global behemoth, with service to seven North American cities, including those like Detroit and Philadelphia that it no longer serves. Even Washington, D.C. is no longer a destination, and service to Chicago is seasonal. A further seven Latin American cities are shown, of which Lima, Caracas, Montevideo and Santiago have since been curtailed.

Somewhat Amazingly, the airline flew a wide band of routes across southern Asia to deepest Antipodea, with a twisting array of Kangaroo routes reaching both Sydney and Melbourne via Manila, Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Singapore, and/or Bangkok, with onward service also to Hong Kong. Southeast Asia was itself reached via Karachi, Bombay, and Delhi. Exactly zero of these cities see the Italian airline today; the only Asian destination east of Iran is Tokyo.

What is perhaps even more noticeable, front-and-center of this polar projection, is the extensive African network, showering down from both Rome and Milan. A closer examination of these will be the subject of the next post.

Special Thanks as always to Airline Memorabilia for the use of the image. 

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