Saturday, September 24, 2011

South African Airways: Re-introduction of Johannesburg-Luanda, 1992

The re-introduction of intra-African services by South African Airways coincided with the gradual dismantling of the apartheid state, which culminated in the county's first democratic elections in 1994 (and would, years after that, see the airline shed its Orange-and-Blue color scheme and Afrikaaner initials). Prior to this, SAA had to skirt around jurisdictions, especially in Africa, which banned the carrier from operating in protest of the racist regime.

While marking the occasion of the return of Luanda, Angola, to the network, the airline's entire route map is displayed on the better part of the envelope. This reveals a cat's cradle strung around West Africa, and fanning out from Cape Verde to a host of European cities, as far inland as Vienna and apparently also including Manchester. Looking east, the airline apparently had to dodge Madagascar, and stop at the Seychelles before reaching southeast Asia, and the Cocos Islands before landing on the Australian continent.

A very similar map is provided two years later and shown on the next post.

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