The route map from a recent copy of Qatar Airways's Oryx in-flight magazine is rendered in a delightful mosaic style which disregards national borders or indeed physical topography. While the coastlines of continents are faithfully represented in detail, the landmasses almost look to be assembled in stained glass.
Overlaid on these overlapping watercolors are the close-laid threads of Qatar Airways vast, six-continent network, today one the very largest of any of the world's airlines. The grey strokes flow outward from Doha in graceful parallels, almost like strands of baleen.
Over the next week, we will examine this vast route map in detail, but begin here at the center of the map, which shows destinations of the greater Near East, such as the dense service to Mesopotamia and the Caucus. We will look at the huge number of European routes in the following post.