Monday, March 21, 2016
It's been two years since the Timetablist has dedicated a period of March as Air Afrique week, and in that time the archives have accumulated a sufficient catalogue to take up multiple consecutive days.
If given five more years of searching it could hardly be expected to rediscover such an emerald gem as this: a vintage print ad from a long-musted magazine; just barely emerging from the monochrome gloss of the class travel-advert era. Air Afrique, the flagship of L'Afrique Ouest, boasts a once-weekly trijet transatlantic service between North America and Sub-Sahara. This gleaming DC-10 would be one of the few that made such a run by this time, as Pan American had already started to retreat from Africa's tropical stretches.
It remains unusual for an airline advert to field a full operating schedule; such mechanical particulars seem to perhaps detract from the less specific, more evocative dreams of an exotic voyage. Yet here, helpfully for our own contemporary and particular interest, is the full timetable of the overnight JFK-Dakar service, which continues on to Abidjan's Port Bouet. The return flight is in fact the outbound voyage, as the DC-10 makes the reverse route the night before.
Interestingly, the asterisk mentions that the current routing, via Monrovia Robertsfield, will end on 1 January 1983, assisting in dating the item. Also note that the schedule boasts a starting point of the "Air France/Air Afrique" terminal: as if the single day-long layover of this antelope-masked tail per week warranted spending the name of the Air France outpost in New York.