Saturday, May 28, 2011

East African Airways: Domestic Routes, Summer 1974

At the height of its integration, the East African community's co-owned airline considered its routes within and between Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda as its "domestic" network. Note that Uganda had hardly any service, and that northern Kenya was also very underserved.

East African's operations were concentrated between Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, with a large web of services up and down the coast from Lamu and Mombasa, to Zanzibar and Dar, to Kilwa and Mtwara. From Dar, a sizable domestic operation on mainland Tanzania linked Arusha (Kilimanjaro) and Dodoma to Mwanza on Lake Victoria.

This item has been reposted from the archives of Timetable Images, a wonderful website, which very graciously allows creative commons reuse of their collections. Special thanks to Björn Larsson.

Note that the previous post detailed the other imagery from this 1974 East African Airways brochure.

East African Airways: Summer Timetable, 1974

Within the pages of this brochure, issued for midyear 1974, are two maps showing the extent of East African Airways networks. On the left, a landless, geometric schematic shows East African's services in its home region, with five routes each out of Entebbe and Nairobi to London, Athens, Frankfurt, and Zürich, with connections between them as well as onward service from Frankfurt and Rome to Copenhagen. Nairobi also had a small Asian circuit: Aden-Karachi-Bombay, whereas Dar Es Salaam's only trans-ocean operation was a Tananarive-Mauritius leg.

Cooperative services are shown to Lagos, Accra, Cairo, Tokyo and the Seychelles, with arrows pointing outwards from Blantyre, Mauritius, Seychelles, London and Copenhagen, presumably to other corners of the Globe.

This item has been borrowed from the terrific website Timetable Images, which graciously allows reposting of its collection under creative commons. Special Thanks to Björn Larsson.

The next post will detail the second panel of the map, showing East African Airway's "domestic" services.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Iberia : Madrid to Malabo

Iberia, the Spanish Airline owned by British Airways, serves very few sub-Saharan cities: Dakar, Lagos, Johannesburg and tiny Malabo, the capital of Equatorial Guinea, the only Spanish-speaking African country.

Equatorial Guinea has risen to prominence in the last decade as oil has been pumped from under the sea bed off the nation's coasts, which consist of several islands and a slightly larger mainland territory, making the GDP soar. Iberia uses an A319 on the route.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

TAAG Angolan Airlines: The Domestic Network, 2011

TAAG Angolan Airlines serves ten cities across the Republic's mainland territory from its hub at Luanda's Quatro de Fevereiro Airport, as well the northern, oil-rich exclave of Cabinda.

See the two previous posts for TAAG's Global and African networks.

TAAG Angolan Airlines: The African Routes, 2011

While TAAG serves several underserved African cities, particularly Bangui and Sao Tome, there are a number of gaps in its African network to be filled in, including several of the continent's most important air hubs, namely Nairobi, Lagos, Addis Ababa, Accra, Entebbe, Cairo and Dakar. Tiny Lusophone Bissau would also be a possible addition.

Luanda has the potential to be a conduit for traffic between Western and Southern Africa, funneling West Africans into the continent's southern cone. But this has yet to materialize. Presumably, TAAG functions on premium origin and destination traffic to fuel its booming economy.

The previous post shows TAAG's global network. The following post details TAAG's domestic services.

TAAG Angolan Airlines: The International Network, 2011

Last week's post of TAP Air Portugal's African routes leads naturally to the flag carriers elsewhere in Lusophone Africa. Fast-growing TAAG Angolan Airlines has rebounded in the past decade, first from the aftermath of the country's long civil war, and secondly from a two-year European Union ban, which blacklisted the airline from European airspace from 2007 to 2009.

Today, TAAG boasts an all-new fleet flying to five continents, including service to Portuguese-speaking Brazil and Cape Verde, and its old ally Cuba (how long this route will be worthwhile is another question), as well as five cities in Europe and an Asian route stretching to Dubai and Beijing (which alternates with Hainan Airlines's identical routing).

The following posts will show TAAG's continental and domestic networks in more detail.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

RwandAir's Growing Network, May 2011

RwandAir continues to grow into a formidable East African carrier, reaching Johannesburg and Dubai, and extending a new line to Libreville this month. Partner connections reach Guangzhou and Amsterdam via Nairobi and London via Entebbe.

RwandAir concentrates on destinations in his own region: Arusha (Timetablist follows from KLM's map conventions and refers to this as Kilimanjaro), Mombasa, Bujumbura, as well as a new route beginning 31 May to Rwanda's second airport at Kamembe. It must be a short hop: Rwanda is slightly smaller than Massachusetts.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Malev: The Southeast European Routes, c. 1974

Following on the previous post, this second, equally-vivd postcard shows Malev's Balkan routes, which interestingly bypass the region's capitals (Belgrade, Sofia, Bucharest, Zagreb) in favor of seaside leisure destinations along the Black Sea and that great Venetian fortress on the Adriatic: Dubrovnik. Perhaps the major cities were unserved, or perhaps this placard was meant to entice the socialist holiday-maker. Like the other item, each city is paired with an illustrated scene, further marketing each city as a vacation spot.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Malev Hungarian Airlines: European Routes, c.1974

An adolescent, iron-curtain Malev commissioned a series of eye-watering route map postcards in the 1970s. The Northwestern European network is here, thick red lines and red dots fanning out from Ferihegy as far as London.

Each city is delightfully accompanied by picture-book illustrations of landmarks: a wintry scene down the Prinzengracht towards the Westerkerk marks Amsterdam; Schloß Schönnbrunn stands for Vienna; the Charles Bridge for Prague. A dull vista of office blocks represents Brussels in its pre-EU years; East Berlin is landmarked by modernist office block towering over an arrangement of flagpoles in a windswept plaza. What a completely gorgeous and delightful item.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Air Mauritius: Worldwide Network, 2010: European Routes Detail

Recently, Air Mauritius had a remarkable eight nonstop flights from the Indian Ocean to Europe, with a reliable banking, manufacturing, and tourist trade keeping its newly-repainted widebody Airbus fleet full. But, according to Wikipedia, Vienna and Zurich have joined Brussels and Manchester as destinations that could not be sustained, leaving six airports non-stop service on the red-trimmed A340s to the Indian Ocean island.

Air Mauritius: Worldwide Network, 2010

Air Mauritius has a thorough network to four continents. Given its remote location in the Indian Ocean, much of its operations are long-haul flights. Most of its fleet consists of A340/A330 widebodies, with three destinations in Australia, three in South Africa, three to India and three in East Asia-- as multi-continental as the island country's rich culture.

The next post details Air Mauritius's high-yield long-haul routes to Europe.

Friday, May 20, 2011

EVA Air: Worldwide Network, 1992

A younger EVA Air of twenty years ago, already offering service to four continents, with a miniature hub at Bangkok to connect to Europe, and no service to the mainland, or Hong Kong, and only served Fukuoka in Japan.

Although the airline's livery remains, nowadays, EVA offers service to 15 airport in China, as well as many in Japan, but has dropped service in Australia and New Zealand. The brochure's timetable style is reminiscent of this JAL matrix.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Son Air: The Houston Express

The extraordinary transformation of Angola from a war-torn hell into a leading petrol exporter has been astonishing. This has facilitated the rebirth of Angola's national airline, TAAG, and seen an increasing traffic into Luanda's Quatro de Fevereiro airport by that airline and many others from Europe, China, and Brazil.

Sonangol, the state-owned oil company, has even found it necessary to not only launch its own airline, but to retain the global aviation enterprise Atlas Air to put one of its passenger jumbos into use, flying non-stop for 14 hours from Houston Intercontinental several times per week, loaded with supermajor executives, prospectors and Texas roughnecks, many of whom are transferred up to Angola's oil-rich exclave, Cabinda. The flight is a scheduled charter; seats on the flight are not open for public sale.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

TAP Air Portugal: The African Routes, Spring 2011

A post last week about the launch of Senegal Airlines was the first time that the city of Bissau had been featured on Timetablist. Here continues the profiling of Portuguese connections to Africa, with a portion of TAP Air Portugal's online map, showing its services to the continent.

Routes fan out from Lisbon to the capitals of former colonies: Bissau, Luanda, Maputo, and tiny Sao Tome, as well as non-Lusophone cities: Dakar at one end, Johannesburg at another, and Cairo on the far right corner. All are apparently served non-stop. At left, the many TAP routes from Lisbon and Porto to Brazil soar past Cap Vert toward South America.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Hainan Airlines, Fall 2008

The global reach of Hainan Airlines in late 2008, when it had already arrived in Europe and the United States, but had yet to expand to become China's fourth largest airline and that country's only 5-star Skytrax carrier. In those intervening years, Hainan has expanded to serve more than 500 routes to more than 90 destinations, growing hugely in its own country, and extending to Southeast Asia, the Middle East, Africa and Australia.

Still based in Haikou, Hainan Island, the airline's present intercontinental operations are focused on Beijing, and now boasts flights to 5 cities in Russia, including Moscow; Almaty; Toronto; Luanda via Dubai; Khartoum; Berlin; and Sydney. Before the end of the year plans include new service to Kolkata, Colombo and Zürich, and the return of Cairo.

Monday, May 16, 2011

BWIA: Caribbean Network, 1967.

A luscious vintage brochure from British West Indian Airways from 1967, when Barbados and Trinidad were in their first years of independence, and Antigua and other islands were still colonies of the crown.

Ruler-sharp red lines span the Windward Islands, connecting each to Barbados, with its direct service to both Georgetown and New York. Several straight lines terminate at Port-of-Spain to stretch across the brow of South America.

A dense web of island-hopping services across the Leewards includes Beef Island off of Tortola, with a number of lines ending at San Juan. Trans-ocean routes from Antigua branch off toward New York JFK and Miami, with a planned pan-Atlantic route to London Heathrow just in planning, "subject to government approval" (it was soon authorized). BWIA enjoyed decades of glory before sadly coming to an end on the last day of 2006, remade as Caribbean Airlines.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Air Ivoire: Systemwide Network, c.2007

Air Ivoire is one of the largest post-Air Afrique state flag carriers, with Abidjan the de-facto capital of Francophone West Africa, despite the civil war that divided the country in 2002, and the recent infighting over the past six months.

Seen here in 2007, Air Ivoire continued to serve three aeroports de metropole, with expansion plans to the Republic of Congo the following year. Although Brazzaville is still on the most-recent schedule, neither Pointe-Noire nor any European destinations seemed to be served at present. Otherwise, the airline was still fully operative prior to the intense battling in Abidjan this spring.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Senegal Airlines Network Launch, 2011

The newly-launched Sénégal Airlines as reported earlier this year on Flight Global's blog.

The airline's own website shows a nearly identical map, but in corporate colors, and with addition of an Ouagadougou-Bamako leg and a connection to sorely-underserved Bissau. The only Anglophone destination is next-door Banjul, with the airline only flying single-aisle A320s at the moment. There are no plans reported for flagship intercontinental routes: surely Paris-CDG is on the drawing board, and there is already a rendering of the airline's livery on a widebody A330 on the Flight Global post linked above.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Air Guinée: Domestic and International Networks, 2000

This week's posts remain in the Manu River region, this time dealing with Guinea (Conakry). This colorful poster, sourced from this French-language site, which interviewed the Directeur Général of the national air carrier of the Republic of Guinea in April 2000. The carrier's history is somewhat confused, the country's national airlines were known variously as Air Guinée, Air Guinée Express, and Air Guinée international, with various operational and corporate kinship and asset recycling. Its a bit easier to just consider them various iterations of the same national airline.

As to the above artefact, the encyclopedic website assists in confirming both the regional destinations shown, and offers an equally tricolored map affirming the domestic network list in the poster's box at lower right.

Central to the composition, Air Guinée's flagship B737-200 roars across a map of the continent, over the tricolor banding. This pride of fleet was sadly lost at Freetown's Lungi International in August 2004, when Air Guinée had been briefly reformed as Air Guinée Express.

This crash led to the demise of that iteration, and the country is currently without a state airline, with only the confusing aborted launch of Air Guinée international, announced in 2010. Plans were grand, with a single A321 to be followed with a long-hault A340, but no information on its operational commencement ever surfaced.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Liberian National Airlines System, April 1967

Continuing to examine the past and present air service of the West African coast, the wonderful website Timetable Images offers this schedule of Liberian National Airlines from April 1967, showing services from Robertsfield to Buchanan, Rivercess, Sinoe (presumably landing at Greenville) and Cape Palmas (Harper, Maryland County).

Whats especially interesting is that the service includes a flight between Spriggs-Payne airfield and Robertsfield, a distance of scarcely 50 kilometers, a hop which the schedule allows twenty minutes to complete. A box below details the leg northward to Freetown from both RIA and Spriggs on Wednesdays. A separate matrix details passenger fares and excess luggage charges.

Despite the sleek jetcraft zooming across the glossy cover of the brochure, LNA operated only two sputtering Douglas DC-3s to run its entire network, so recalling this as the golden age of Liberian domestic air travel may be somewhat rose-tinted. According to the Encyclopedia of African Airlines (Ben R. Guttery, 1998), LNA eventually merged with Ducor Air Transport to form Air Liberia in 1974, a carrier which survived until the outbreak of fighting in 1990.

Special thanks to Björn Larssen of Timetable Images for allowing the reposting of the above images.

Monday, May 9, 2011

ASKY Airlines: Service to and from Monrovia, Spring 2011

The recent post about Sierra Leone's new airline, Fly 6ix, discussed the services out of Monrovia's secondary airport, Spriggs-Payne Airfield. Here is the horaires of Lomé-based ASKY Airlines, a division of Ethiopian Airlines, in and out of Spriggs-Payne for this spring.

The table shows non-stops to Accra and Bamako three times weekly; the Bamako service apparently an alternate to Abidjan, which is slowly re-opening given the recent conflict there. The Accra service continues on to ASKY's hub in Togo, from whence it connects across western Africa, from Banjul to Brazzaville, and more globally with via Ethiopian's mainline network.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sierra Leone Airways Timetable, October 1963

More on the commercial aviation of Sierra Leone, past and present. Yesterday's philatelic feature celebrating Sierra Leone Airlines leads into an earlier exploration of that carrier's history, when it was known as Sierra Leone Airways in earlier decades. Here, courtesy of Björn Larsson and his website Timetable Images, is the timetable of Sierra Leone Airways in October 1963 to March 1964.

A quad-propeller Bristol Britannia offered non-stop weekly service from London to Lungi International Airport, boasting a first class cabin and an economy class offering. The bottom half of the left page is taken up by tables showing the weekly "Up-country" services, operated by a de Havilland Heron from Freetown's smaller Hastings Airport. The second table shows a "link-up" service, which ferries intercontinental passengers to the origination of this domestic route. Fares, baggage allowances, and passenger regulations are detailed at right.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Sierra Leone Airlines over Freetown, 1987

Thursday's post detailed the launch of Sierra Leone's new carrier, concurrent with the 50th anniversary of the country's independence. In honor of another jubilee, in this case the 40th Anniversary of the International Civil Aviation Organization in 1987, the Republic of Sierra Leone issued this commemorative stamp. The horizon line demarcating the dull-blue, rainy season sky and a calm Atlantic is nearly imperceptible. The foreground shows a wide, intricately detailed view of the rooftops of Freetown. Sierra Leone Airlines' flagship B707-384C with its landing gear flared for landing at Lungi International across the bay, surrounded by the stamp's perforation.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fly 6ix Network, Spring 2011

Just as the 50-year independence jubilee is celebrated, here is presented plucky little Sierra Leonian start-up Fly 6ix Airline, which on its January operational launch was designated by President Koroma as the new national airline.

A single Embraer 135 regional jet operates three times a week up and down the West African coast between Banjul, Conakry, Freetown, and Monrovia's secondary Spriggs-Payne airport, in the center of the Liberian capital. Best of luck to it--West Africa has far too few regional options.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

United Air Lines: Dulles to Bahrain & Kuwait, 2006-2010

Yesterday's post about connecting Chicago with the Gulf recalls United Air Lines' foray into the Middle East, not from its O'hare hub but rather from Washington Dulles. Five years ago, United commenced an air bridge between the defense contractor and security consultancy sprawl of exurban Virginia with the State of Kuwait, the defense industry's major staging area for the occupation of Iraq. Initially, UA Flight 981/2 was a thrice-weekly triangular service with a B777. In late 2009, it was announced that the flight pair would be extended in 2010 to the Kingdom of Bahrain, another major outpost of the US military.

UAL's lovely water-color dream advertising shows the Arabian sun shining through the skylines of the two emirates (Bahrain became a kingdom in 2002).

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Etihad Airways: Chicago to Abu Dhabi.

The city of broad shoulders is bridged with the city of bottomless pockets: Etihad Airways flight EY150/151, linking the Midwestern Megalopolis with the Middle East, 15 hours 20 minutes eastbound, 14 hours westbound. Passing this time in the luxurious pods of Diamond First Class aboard an A340-500 or -600 comes in at nearly AED49,000, or just north of US$13,000.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Korean Air: Domestic Destinations, 2011

Yesterday's television commercial posts dealt with an area that has been underemphasized on Timetablist: the Korean peninsula, and its dueling megacarriers. Today's posts will detail some of Korean Air's enormous global network. Here are the airline's several domestic destinations, which are mostly connected to the older Gimpo airport outside of Seoul, with most international traffic operating out of the hyperfuturistic fortress hub at Incheon.

Korean Air: Chinese Destinations, 2011

China has been a major growth market for global aviation, and Korean Air has successfully marketed its new hub at Incheon as a convenient connection to the mainland, with hundreds of flights each week to more than a dozen destinations. See other posts from today for domestic and Japanese networks.

Korean Air: Japanese & Siberian Destinations, 2011

Korea and Japan engage in an enormous trading partnership, so it is no surprise that there is a dense web of air links between the two neighbors, as well as a link two the Siberian city of Vladivostok, Russia's principal Pacific port. Tokyo International Airport at Haneda and New Tokyo International Airport at Narita are both served from Incheon and Gimpo airports outside of Seoul.