Monday, September 23, 2019

Aviogenex System Route Map, c.1989


An undated route map, found in a dusty display on the upper level of the Aeronautical Museum of Yugoslavia on the grounds of Aerodrom Nikola Tesla in Belgrade, Serbia. A conventional map of Europa is overlaid with the red lines of the complete Aviogenex system during the Yugoslavian airline's prime. Although a subsidiary of the Belgrade-based Generalexport conglomerate (as the map prominently notes at the bottom), the leisure airline's impressive array of coverage emanated out of the Croatian coast, with the largest bases at Pula in Istria, and Split and Dubrovnik in Dalmatia, marked by large red bullseyes around their place names. Other large stations at Zadar and inland at Zagreb and Ljubljana and what looks to be Titograd (today Podgorica, Montenegro).

From here, the red-striped Aviogenex jets plunged further south across the Mediterranean from Algiers to Benghazi to Beirut. A single branch outward from Zagreb splays outward and off the map (to what is probably Aqaba, Jordan) and turns northeastward to spread to Leningrad, Helsinki, and Oslo.

Aviogenex was even more impressive in northwestern Europe, with intense coverage of Germany, France and especially the British Isles; the home hubs had to been repeated at the mouth of the English Channel underneath Ireland to adequately show the web of connections to 16 cities, including  not just Birmingham and Leeds (as with the rest of the map rendered in Croatian Latin script, here spelled "Lidz") but many smaller airports such as Cardiff, Bristol, Bournemouth and Norwich, and what appears to be Kirkwall Airport in the Orkney Islands, which even today in the great Thomas Cook package tour era of cheap charters is not connected to the Canaries or Balearics, much less Montenegro.

This is reflective of the enormous popularity of Yugoslavia as a British tourism destination in the 1980s, when it was even more popular than Spain and Yugotours was one of the UK's most popular tour agencies, which all declined with the 1990s break-up and war. While Aviogenex was not a victim of this catastrophe, it was shadow of its former self and limped along until 2015, meeting its demise just before the latest explosion in Adriatic leisure aviation.

2 comments:

  1. I am pretty sure that Kirkwall is an error -> at 4685 feet / 1,4328 km, the runway in KOI wasn't long enough for AGXs Tu-134, 727-200 or 737-200. We got the 727-200s at GLA and the 737-200 at EDI and ABZ also, but I can't imagine any runways north of Inverness would have been capable of taking any of AGX aircraft with a load of fuel, passengers and luggage. I would love to be corrected, however.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. You may very well be correct that it was an error, but there must have been some intention in placing a dot in the Central Orkneys and connecting it to Dubrovnik. And if the length that you state is accurate, isn't the minimum runway for a B737-200 4,400 fleet, so wouldn't that work? Thank you for your comment.

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