Wednesday, October 26, 2016
ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines Route Map, c.1975: Detail of the Bratislava Hub
Continuing to view the details of the Czechoslovak Airlines route map from the 1970s, the upper-right of the pinwheel shows the airline's secondary operation at Bratislava, the Slovak capital. Prague dominated not only the "OK Network" but also nearly every other aspect of Czechoslovak public sphere, yet the expansive ČSA system granted Bratislava with an interesting variety of connections: to nearby Poprad-Tatry, via Bourgas, and a half dozen other Eastern Bloc capitals. Also Beirut and Kuwait, rather randomly.
Cartographically, what's curious is that these destinations were all printed a second time to show a shower of routes springing forth from Bratislava. Kuwait, Sofia, Bucharest and Beirut are all served from Prague and shown elsewhere on the map, although more at 5 o'clock which might have made the graphics a bit convoluted. Stranger are Moscow, Kiev, and Leningrad, whose links to Prague are directly adjacent to the Bratislava point, as seen here.
Warsaw and Berlin-Helsinki (here weirdly rendered as Helsink) are at high noon, from Prague.