Monday, December 27, 2010

SAS: Destinations from Kuala Lumpur, c.1960

Scandinavian Airline System offered Boeing jet services from Bangkok, with Polar Routes from Tokyo to Europe and from Europe to Los Angeles; SAS's worldwide network was reached with 4-times weekly connections from Kuala Lumpur on Thai Airways DC-6B cooperative services, which also linked regional cities from Djakarta to Phnom Penh.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cathay Pacific Airways: Destinations from Kuala Lumpur, c. 1960

A much smaller carrier half a century ago, the green-stripped constellations of Cathay Pacific Airways spanned from India to Japan. It would be twenty years before the airline would acquire its first 747 and a quarter-century before the airline would cross the Pacific. Jesselton is now known as Kota Kinabalu.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

KLM: Destinations from Kuala Lumpur, c. 1960

KLM Royal Dutch Air Lines fleet of shiny DC-8 jetliners whisked travelers from Kuala Lumpur east to Manila, north to Beirut and Athens, west to Houston and Mexico City.

Friday, December 17, 2010

JAL: Destinations from Kuala Lumpur, c. 1960

A listing of Japan Air Lines connections from Kuala Lumpur, c. 1960, with office address and telephone number.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

British Airways, Latin America & the Caribbean, 1999

Other than its small colonial outposts, which lie within the Caribbean basin between Belize, the Bahamas and Barbados, the United Kingdom has little historic connection to Middle and South America. However, British Airways flies to several Latin cities for petroleum and financial connections, as this bland, newspaper photo-copy quality destination map from 1999 shows.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Air New Zealand: Pacific System, c. 1972

Air New Zealand was decades away from boasting of a world-leading premium cabin as it is today, but can still pride itself in serving the South Pacific better than nearly any carrier, linking Los Angeles and Honolulu to Fiji and Auckland, and offering a non-stop Tahiti service from LAX, too. Today, Air New Zealand links Los Angeles to London Heathrow as well.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Fly Garuda's New Electra, c.1960

A youthful Garuda boasted that its new Electra craft could propel Singaporeans as far as Manila, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Malayan Airways c.1960

An attractive greyscale announcement of an adolescent Malayan Airways tiger lines, which at the time extended only as far as Hong Kong, direct with its jet-prop Bristol Britannia (and supercool frill typeface). Decades later Malaysia would crest as one the world's largest carriers, with services like KL-Dubai-Newark and KL-Johannesburg-Cape Town-Buenos Aires.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Czechoslovak Airlines: Service from Cairo, c.1958

An advert from a trade publication for the shipping industry of Cairo, sometime in the late 1950s, showing what was surely the pride of the Czechoslovak fleet: a Soviet-era Tu-104 jet, able to whisk Egyptians either north to the capitals of Europe via Prague: London, Paris, Moscow, or on a trans-Asian route: DhahranBombayRangoonPhnom PenhDjakarta (none of which Czech Airlines serves today).

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

ASKY Airlines network, October 2010

Fast-growing regional carrier ASKY Airlines is based (somewhat surprisingly) in Lomé, Togo. The subsidiary of also-burgeoning Ethiopian Airlines has already established itself as a major West African airline, with useful connections within and between both Anglophone and Francophone cities.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Air France/KLM: African Network, Winter 2010/11: Codeshare destinations

Selected destinations served by Sky-team partner Kenya Airways in code-share are shown in red. Nairobi has become a significant hub for the alliance.

Air France/KLM: African Network, Winter 2010/11: Gulf of Guinea detail

The Air France-KLM's network in the Gulf of Guinea, serving every capital and major city from Abidjan to Luanda, is impressively dense and frequent.

Air France/KLM: Winter 2010/11

Air France-KLM's website currently features this extremely thoughtful network map for Sub-tropical Africa, with each city labelled with weekly frequencies, designated by carrier and hub. The otherwise-lucid graphic is a bit confusing, in that it includes only Libya among North African states, and even more confusingly does not include Djibouti or Madagascar--yet Air France is one of the few carriers to serve Antananarivo and Djibouti.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Air India: Worldwide, December 2006

A colorful but confusing route map from Air India. Air India's global network is complicated enough, with its "scissors hubs", necessary due to the distance between North America and the sub-continent, routing passengers via London and Frankfurt. The use of red lines for the code-share services is somewhat obfuscating, making the network seem larger and more global than it is, as the eye naturally focuses on the brighter colors.
Comparing to the previous post, there is a general, though not extensive, expansion to East Asia. several cities in Europe are served; East Africa is part of the network. More cities in the United States are connected. What is most surprisingly is the total retreat from the Gulf region; only Dubai is served between the Mediterranean and the hub at Mumbau.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Air India, worldwide network, c.1960

Via either Comet or Boeing 707 to five continents, from the Statue of Liberty to the wildlife of East Africa, the beefeaters of Buckingham to the geishas of the Ginza. Note the dense intra-European network.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Pan Am: New York-Kano, 1956

Kano has been discussed before. Its interesting as it is still a large and important city, the principal commercial center and airport in Northern Nigeria, but its international services have declined (partly due to the rise of Abuja to the south). KLM, MEA, and Saudi Arabian apparently still fly there. According to this first day cover, Pan Am connected Kano with New York in 1956, although this service did not seem to last long.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky: The international non-stops, Winter/Spring 2005

Five Years ago, Cincinnati was connected with four European capitals daily: London (Gatwick), Paris, Amsterdam, and Frankfurt, all by Delta Air Lines, which once operated one its largest hubs from the banks of the Ohio River.  Pre-SkyTeam Partner airline Air France often landed from CDG itself. In addition, Delta landed in Northern Kentucky from Cancun, Nassau, Montreal, and Toronto.
Today, only the Paris connection remains, although Cincinnati continues to be painfully squeezed between Delta's massive hubs in Atlanta and Detroit, as well as Memphis, also under pressure to shrink, and Minneapolis (the latter three inherited from Northwest). Meanwhile, Delta launched seasonal service from Pittsburgh to Paris, which continues to operate in the summer season, usually with a B757.

Monday, November 1, 2010

BOAC: Worldwide Routes, 1962

Showing some unusual destinations, such as Brazzaville, Kano, Dakar and Windhoek that are no longer served by successor British Airways.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pan Am: The African Routes, 1967

Pan American's African branch was never too thick. However, throughout its history, the airline flew to several dozen African cities. This map, with its two reaches from West Africa to East Africa and Southern Africa, shows the most common Pan Am run across the continent. Part of a handsome, corporate-production route atlas of the kind unknown today.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Swissair: Zurich-Kinshasa, 1973

Swissair always had extensive routes across Africa. This envelope, although certainly commemorative, does not indicate whether this date was particularly important for the route to Zaïre, which is helpfully outlined on the map.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Swissair/Air Afrique: Geneva-Monrovia, 1977

This is a somewhat confusing envelope. Is Air Afrique or Swissair metal doing the work? This is 1977, 12 years after yesterday's inaugural flight. The printing is at least specific when it comes to the aircraft: a DC-10-30 (which was in both airlines' fleets) is announced at top and glides across the page.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Swissair: Zurich-Monrovia, 1965

There are absolutely no giraffes in Liberia, nor were there in 1965, but that did not deter the Swiss from celebrating the first flight to Monrovia with a Serengeti scene. No information on routing or aircraft. The purple architectural stamp at center may depict the post office in Monrovia, which still stands.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

USAirways to Europe: 2007

Another example of the tremendous expansion overseas by USAirways in the last ten years, showing the full, extent of transatlantic services from Stockholm to Tel Aviv-- a total of 17 non-stops from Philadelphia. It is somewhat amazing to consider that this sudden supply of seats to Brussels, Athens, and Barcelona met with equal demand, but thus far the routes remain in operation.

Friday, July 30, 2010

USAirways: Ft. Lauderdale Hub, 2004

USAirways established a Caribbean basin hub in the middle of the last decade, but apparently it didn't last. Sort of a shame, and a bit unexpected in that USAirways, like other legacy carriers, has been looking to international traffic for revenue growth recently, evident in USAirway's services from Belize to Rio from its Charlotte hub, which much offer more traffic and profits.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

KLM: Amsterdam-Paramaraibo

Both KLM and Surinam Airways fly this route today a few times per week-- its hard to believe that enough people need to get between the two points, but such is the state of affairs in post-colonial aviation. Surinam Airways recently switched from a B747-300 to an Airbus A340, leased from Air France.

Monday, July 5, 2010

British Airways: London-Salisbury (Harare)

To compliment yesterday's post is this envelope from the same period, half-illustrated with a B747 in early BA livery, on its way to Harare (via Nairobi), which was still called Salisbury until 1982. Note the captain's names listed at below-left.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Air Zimbabwe: London Gatwick-Salisbury (Harare)

In time for independence, is this rather business-like flight cover from a nascent Air Zimbabwe, which apparently was so new it hadn't settled on its Great Zimbabwe eagle emblem, yet, although the italicized Air Zimbabwe remains to this day. The country itself was so new, the capital hasn't been rechristened Harare. A B707 made the run to Gatwick, which in later years would be a B767.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Lufthansa: Frankfurt-Munich-Cairo-Khartoum-Entebee-Dar Es Salaam: April 1968

This busy first day cover provides a map and a verbal list routing for this flight, which commences in Frankfurt but leaves German soil at Munich, which appears to be the focus of the celebration: the stamp shows the Frauenkirche and states "Entebbe-Munich", although the routing neither begins nor ends at either point, according to the information on the envelope: Cairo, Khartoum and Dar Es Salaam are also links in the chain.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Lufthansa: Douala-Libreville-Kinshasa

A quintessential Lufthansa first-day cover, with plenty of graphics (an inviting beach scene as well as a stately elephant cancellation stamp) and loaded with information, including flight number and aircraft. This is similar to Lufthansa's East African services, which only demarcate intra-African routes; its not clear if this implies that Lufthansa was able to carry passengers within Africa, though its likely. Today Lufthansa still shuttles the petroleum industry to Gabon, and recently announced another petrolstop at Port Noire, Congo (never served before) but is absent from Douala and Kinshasa.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Lufthansa: Frankfurt-Entebbe-Nairobi-Dar Es Salaam-Mauritius

This colorful Lufthansa item has both a large, customized cancellation and a striking, multichrome envelope for the occasion. Apparently, a grove of palms with a dark background, suggesting the edge of a jungle, was the only common element that came to mind to represent this East African line. Taken with yesterday's item, it seems that the Frankfurt-Entebbe-Dar Es Salaam services was consolidated with Kairo and Nairobi, and extended to Mauritius, in April 1970. Today, Lufthansa serves Cairo frequently, but has dropped all of these other destinations.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Lufthansa: Entebbe-Dar Es Salaam

Just like yesterday's post, this Lufthansa announcement was dignified with a cancellation stamp, not a unique or graphic envelope. According to this information, the flight departed on 30 December 1966 directly from Frankfurt to Dar Es Salaam via Entebbe. Dar Es Salaam was once the capital of German East Africa. Lufthansa serves neither city at present, nor was it able to keep its route to Nairobi alive.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lufthansa/Zambia Airways Joint Venture: Frankfurt-Lusaka

This Erstflug briefmark apparently did not warrant the issuance of special envelope, but did prompt the production of a special cancellation stamp, with the twin disc logos of Lufthansa and Zambia Airways, celebrating non-stop Frankfurt-Lusaka service with a B707 in 1976.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Qantas: Sydney-Perth-Cocos Islands-Mauritius-Johannesburg

A delightful specimen from 1963, affixed with the postage of the Cook Islands. The pleasantly-hued map depicts the routing: Sydney-Perth-Cocos Islands-Mauritius-Johannesburg. Nowadays the route is non-stop from Sydney, and South African Airways still serves Perth from Jo'berg. Air Mauritius serves Perth, Melbourne and Sydney.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

South African Airways: Worldwide, November 2009

This copper-and-chrome worldview shows the rainbow nation's reach via its flag carrier, with routes to North and South America, Australia, and Asia, as well as a dozen routes across its home continent.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

British Airways: The African Routes, c.2000

A decade before Air France's map from yesterday is this classic BA map, with its signature "silk-web" route lines-- a typical throwback the company's heritage. Note the intra-South African flights, served by its affiliate Comair, as well as the now extinct Harare route, and the extension to Freetown.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Air France: The African Routes, July 2009

Air France and KLM, united as one company, dominate routes to Africa. Air France still serves nearly every former colonial capital, and KLM, an oil industry favorite, with strong East African services, overlays this network well. Taken with Skyteam's Kenya Airways affiliation, and the alliance is an African powerhouse (and a highly profitable venture).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Afriqiyah Airways Route Map, 2009

With the recent shocking tragedy of Afriqiyah 771 from Johannesburg, its timely to note this somewhat curious but fast-growing carrier, which unexpectedly emerged from the reclusive state and is well on its way to having a significant hub connecting Africa and Europe, often for prices far lower than the European carriers. In keeping with the Libyan government's fervent interest in—and frequent interference with—the West African region, the Afriqiyah venture was an attempt to solidify commercial links between Libya and the Saharan states, linking an array of francophone capitals such as Bangui, Cotonou, Lomé, N'Djamena, Niamey, and Ouagadougou that have traditionally only had long-haul links to Paris on Air France and Brussels on Sabena or Brussels Airlines. Afriqiyah serves those European cities as well, in addition to more secondary airports such as Geneva and Düsseldorf.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Interflug: Berlin-Freetown

Earlier than its 1972 celebration of jet service to West Africa is this November 1969 inaugural Freetown flight, although its not clear just what distinguishes the two events or what aircraft might have been in use, although with only the origin and destination listed, it suggests non-stop service. A handsome gazelle leaps gracefully across the cancellation stamp.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Interflug: Berlin-Singapore

Very late in its life, Interflug changed course radically, utilizing Western Airbus aircraft and stretching farther in search of relevance and revenue, such as this July 1989 launch to Singapore. Interflug would be liquidated by Lufthansa less than two years later. Apparently not enough East Berliners headed to Raffles.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Inauguration of Ghana Airways, 1958

Ghana Airways had a long history following this cover issue, reaching as far as Baltimore-Washington with its DC-10s. Despite a heart-felt following, the airline ceased to operate some years ago. It is now followed by Ghana International Airlines, with B757 service to Düsseldorf and London-Gatwick routes. Although this envelope was addressed to the Ghana Philatelic Agency on Wall Street in New York, the inaugural flight was almost surely to Heathrow Airport.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Air India:Bombay to Seychelles, 1976

Celebrating inaugural of Air India's June 1976 service from Bombay to Seychelles with a mermaid/kama sutra-in-seashell theme.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Swissair: Zurich-Philadelphia, August 1990

Like many aspects of Philadelphia's recent history, its airport's prominence as an international gateway has had its ups and downs. Today it has myriad options thanks to USAirways, which covers nearly 20 destinations non-stop, from Barcelona to Tel Aviv. Planespotters would have been disappointed by last year's switch of the CDG run from Air France to Delta, leaving British Airways and Lufthansa as the only European carriers to serve the enormous terminal at Philly. Swissair's service to Zürich did not last the airline's turbulent demise and rebirth as SWISS, although Koten Airport is still connected to PHL as one of USAirway's non-stops.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Royal Air Maroc: Timetable, Winter/Spring 2010

This might well be called, "How Not to Publish a Timetable." Its not clear why these cities have been proposed for indexing. Might a RAM passenger from Milan be slightly more likely to need to find the schedule to Tangier or Fes, as opposed to Malabo or Nouakchott? The section for Monrovia does not even mention that the routing passes through Banjul, currently the only westbound flight from Liberia. Casablanca is mentioned only by its CMH code as the connecting point. Marrakesh is nowhere. Perhaps RAM is really pushing the African routes, which are excellent (see posts from the previous week), but this timetable's exclusions miss a lot of that carrier's offerings.