Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Hiatus

Timetablist will be on a summer hiatus during parts of July and August. Instead of just admiring airline airline schedules, timetables and route maps will actually be used to plan travel and board airplanes, for a change. Thank you to everyone who visits for your interest, attention, and support. Timetablist will be resuming soon. Best wishes for an exciting summer.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Swissair: Zürich-Geneva-Lagos-Accra, 1974

Two first-day covers which differ only slightly, having identical layouts, graphics, and cancellation stamps, but seeming to emphasize slightly different portions of the same route, Swissair's new service from Zürich to Geneva, connecting Switzerland to Lagos and finally Accra.

The first envelope celebrates the Genève - Accra service, the second Genève - Lagos, with the description to the right of the profiled antelope giving no mention to Accra.

Swissair's 21st century successor, Swiss International Air Lines, flew to Accra for a time, but currently does not serve West Africa at all.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Libyan Arab Airlines Network, 2007

The much older, but now lesser-known of Libya's two state carriers, Libyan Arab Airlines has in recent years been eclipsed by Afriqiyah Airways, to the point that consolidation of the standard-bearer into the start-up was announced last fall. The two operate under one state holding company.

LAA's golden-trimmed jets continued to cover the region, especially North Africa and a handful of regional routes from bases at both Tripoli and Benghazi. It is not surprising that major European hubs such sa Frankfurt, London, Rome and Milan have long been served; Kiev is surely more curious. 

In previous years, LAA has reached further into Europe to cities including Amsterdam, Moscow, and Paris, in 2009 expansion to reach Niamey and Khartoum in the south and China on the other side of the globe was announced, but not acted upon—service south of the Sahara has been the mandate of sister carrier Afriqiyah Airways.

At present, there is no commercial air service out of Libya.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Air Jamaica Network, September 1972

A groovy brochure from a young Air Jamaica, boasting of its citrus-colored super DC-8 quadjet daily runs to sun-kissed Montego Bay from New York-JFK, Chicago via Nassau, and Toronto via [sunny] Philadelphia (the brochure says between the last two--not clear if such an itinerary could be purchased). All Caribbean-bound first class passengers enjoyed a shag and patent-leather stand-up bar-- an island party in the stratosphere.

The DC-9 evidently ran the daily to Miami, and the lone domestic route to the capital, Kingston. Cake and soft drinks, horseback riding and sport fishing, waterfalls and bass players--these were just a overview of the joys on offer in sunny Jamaica--but flying with Air Jamaica means the vacation of a lifetime begins the moment a passenger stepped on board. Services as far as Los Angeles and London were still a decade or more away.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Air France: Paris-Conakry-Freetown-Monrovia, Spring 2011

Air France, like many European airlines, has been expanding its highly-profitable African services over the last few years. Its move earlier this year to extend its Paris-Conakry service to both Freetown and Monrovia on alternate days is somewhat unusual, as it crosses over the Francophone-Anglophone divide, which checkerboards West Africa, with very few flights in between countries that speak different languages.

Although seats are sold only on the intra-African leg, the tickets are hugely expensive, in fact more costly than a flight from the United States to these destinations via Paris.

Air France served Monrovia's Robertsfield decades before, but not any time recently, although its subsidiary KLM was a major connector to Liberia up until that country's civil war. This may be Air France's first time serving Sierra Leone.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Slok Air: Destinations from Monrovia, c.2008

Slok Air International, the erstwhile Gambian carrier, flew 737-200s trimmed in a pistachio-and-cantelope color scheme up and down the west African coast, until its demise sometime in 2008. Here is the masthead above its ticket office at Roberts International Airport, outside of Monrovia, Liberia, in October 2008, just after its final liquidation. Its not possible to verify whether Slok served all of the cities listed here; certainly Monrovia was not connected by all these cities.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Elysian Airlines: Routes from Monrovia, c.2009

Cameroon-based Elysian Airlines, "the African Dream," built up an impressive base of operations from Monrovia's secondary Spriggs-Payne Airport, going up the coast Sierra Leone, Guinea, Gambia, and apparently Senegal, as well as operating the country's lone domestic route, down to Harper, Maryland County.

Sadly, Elysian withdrew from its Spriggs-Payne services in mid-2010, but these were later replaced by Lomé-based ASKY Airlines as well as the new Sierra Leonian carrier, Fly 6ix.