Monday, October 31, 2011
Malta, the European Union's smallest member, is a tiny rocky archipelago in the center of the Mediterranean below Sicily. It is actually more southernly than the coast of North Africa, and acts as a European gateway to Libya especially.
Shown here on the Malta International Airport's summer 2011 timetable are weekly services to Tripoli, with an identical flight every day by Libyan Arab Airlines complimented by an array of daily flights from Air Malta, with a twice weekly connection on JAT which goes onward to Belgrade.
Above are four weekly services to Tunis, direct and also via Monastir on Servisair. All these operations increase during the summer months, as seen from the matrix at far right.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
Excerpts from the Summer 2011 Timetable published by Frankfurt International Airport, showing Lufthansa's multiweekly nonstops to sub-Saharan Africa, such as Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Lagos, Libreville, and Luanda; as well as Ethiopian's 5-times weekly to Addis and Air Namibia's all-but-Wednesday nonstop to Windhoek; Condor Flugdienst's once-weekly scheduled charters to Arusha, Tanzania's Kilimanjaro International and Agadir in Morocco; Sun Express and Turkish Airlines leisure flights to Adana; Lufthansa and Croatia Airlines flights to Zagreb, and Air Berlin's Friday flight to Zakynthos in Greece.
Saturday, October 29, 2011
A delightful Jordanian flight attendant stands at the entrance not of a jet aircraft but the cliff opening of Petra, in a German and Arabic print advert marketing Royal Jordanian's thrice-weekly service from Munich to Amman, with connections to the Middle East and Asia.
Friday, October 28, 2011
As with yesterday's post on Yakutia, Munich Airport sees seasonal service from several of Russia's second-tier carriers. RusLine links the Bavarian Imperial capital with the stately riverside metropolis of Volgograd. This is Volgograd's only link to the mainland European Union, and RusLine's only destination in Germany, although the airline also serves Istanbul, Dubai, Larnaca, Beijing, Harbin, Ürumqi, Amman, and a large number of destinations across the Commonwealth of Independent States, from Kiev to Minsk, Baku to Almaty-- all with a small squadron of Canadair regional jets.
Thursday, October 27, 2011
Twice weekly to the natural paradise on Lake Baikal, boasts this rather straightforward notice from the Munich Airport summer timetable. Russia is one of Germany's most important trading partners, but it is still interesting to see such low-profile Russian carriers such as Yakutia Air Company linking Bavaria and Siberia. The service is seasonal.
Yakutia's primary base at Yakutsk links the Sakha Republic with Seoul, Harbin, Qingdao; from the Irkutsk Oblast in serves Dushanbe and Tashkent. The airline also has a seasonal presence at Prague, Barcelona, Larnaca, Rimini, Trieste, Dresden and Hanover.
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
All Nippon Airways has always had a rather conservative international reach, flying to only six North American cities, and currently four in Europe. Some European cities like Milan, Rome, and Vienna were launched and withdrawn. This German advert shows how ANA uses Munich's airport as a gateway from Tokyo to a number of EU cities (via its Star Alliance sister, Lufthansa).
Curiously, one might imagine that this marketing would be better suited to the Japanese passenger to Prague, Lyon or Bologna, but here it seeks to demonstrate to Europeans how easy it is to connect from all corners of the continent to the daily overnight flight to Narita: barely-visible blue landmasses of Germany and Japan are linked with a white arrow, but a yet-to-be-used B787 points westward.
Tuesday, October 25, 2011
Munich is one of Lufthansa's two "fortress hubs." Although much smaller than the massive megahub at Frankfurt, Munich Airport is important for both Lufthansa's links between North America, Asia and Europe on its own craft and with its Star Alliance partners, as well as origin-and-destination traffic serving the large multinationals in southern Germany, and the leisure needs of their well-off employees.
This is reflected in Lufthansa's summer announcement of new services from Munich: link Zadar and Dubrovnik in Croatia will ferry holidaymakers to the rocky resorts of the Dalmatian Coast, whereas a widebody such as the A340 shown will connect to the South American Star Alliance superhub of Sao Paulo-Guarlhos.
Monday, October 24, 2011
Despite the increasing presence of exotic global carriers and the extensive reach of the Star Alliance, Munich remains a primary gateway into Central Europe from North American cities. Air Canada, United Airlines, USAirways, and Delta all fly to Munich, but Lufthansa is the primary carrier across the Atlantic to the Alps.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
A detail of the righthand side of the previous post. Although still primarily a landing point for the Transatlantic bridge into the heart of Europe, technology- and business-dense Munich has a large number of Asian services, especially among Lufthansa and its Star Alliance partners: All Nippon, Air China, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and South African Airways all join up with United, USAirways and Air Canada at Munich.
Elsewhere, the close links between Russia and Germany are manifested in a handful of ad hoc Siberian cities.
Saturday, October 22, 2011
Munich's gorgeous and efficient airport may not be a first-tier European gateway, nonetheless its status as a Lufthansa "fortress hub," second only to Frankfurt, and the presence of a number of international airlines, provides Bavaria connections with five continents, with an increasing list of global carriers from the Middle East, Russia, and East Asia adding to the scope of Munich's reach. The Eastern portion of this map will be detailed in the next post.
Wealthy Bavaria is also linked directly with several leisure destinations, including the Maldives and Mombasa, and the Namibian capital, Windhoek, which to this day retains one of the largest German-speaking communities in Africa.
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
This detail from the previous post shows Kenya's 13 current and 5 future Central & West African destinations, as of July 2010. All proposed routes: Bangui, Brazzaville, Kisangani, Libreville, and Ndola, have been launched as of the date of this post. The addition of dedicated routes to Brazzaville and Ndola, when nearby Kinshasa and Lubumbashi are already served, added to the addition of such secondary destinations as Bangui and Kisangani, show the thickening of Kenya's coverage and the dominance of the airline across the entire continent. The convergence of the route lines on the right-hand side of this detail indicate the vortex of Jomo Kenyatta International Airport at Nairobi.
Like Delta Air Lines, its Skyteam alliance partner, Kenya has established something of a regional mini-hub at Accra Kotoka, with routes connecting to Abidjan, Freetown and Monrovia-Robertsfield.
The route lines are a bit confusing: Accra-Nairobi flights do not stop in Douala (but the flight to Douala does connect at Bangui), the Abidjan route did not land in Malabo.
Kenya Airways' rapid expansion across its home continent is evident in the great breadth and depth of this route map, especially in comparison with the same article from just a year previous.
Kenya is still predominant across its home region, connecting neighboring East African cities, but with a large number of southbound routes, including a new link to Gaborone, Botswana.
Although not the focus of this and the following post, redlines reaching the page's edges show links to Europe and Asia. The three European destinations are suggested to be above the top of the page, although both Amsterdam and Paris are located on the visible portion of Europe.
Monday, October 17, 2011
A busy evening at one of Europe's superhubs. The fifteen minutes from 6:30pm commences with two of KLM's non-stops from China, one from Sichuan's capital at Chengdu and one from coastal Xiamen. Over the next five minutes, a flock of flights arrives from the corners of Europe: Easyjet from Prague, Alitalia from Milan, and Lufthansa from Munich. A Transavia flight from Lisbon is followed by an airBaltic Riga arrival.
At 40 minutes past the hour, another of KLM's increasing services to East Asia, this a link to its SkyTeam Partner Korean Air's megahub at Incheon, lands concurrently with more regional, low-cost services from Spain and Britain: An Arkefly charter from Mahon, Easyjet from Gatwick and BMI Baby from Nottingham. At quarter til 7, two Air France/KLM code shares get in from Bergen and Berlin.
This brief quarter hour demonstrates the breadth and diversity of Schiphol's connections.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
It is quite revealing to juxtapose this map with its iteration from two years previous. Delta's expansion into Africa has been an unquestioned success, even if some of its plans for linking the continent have not come to pass.
Aside from the long transatlantic lines coming across the page from Atlanta and JFK, what may be most striking is the appearance of a minihub at Accra's Kotoka, with services to both American gateways, as well as onward flights to Monrovia and Abuja (indirect service to the capital via Ghana surely stings many proud Nigerians; whereas most Liberians are merely thrilled to have the US carrier at all--and revel in its recent announcement of a third weekly Atlanta connection). A third spin-off is optimistically drawn to connect Malabo, the tiny capital of the tiny, and hugely wealthy, oil-rich state of Equatorial Guinea.
Absent is the erstwhile Cape Town service, and there is no mention of Sal in Cape Verde (itself originally conceived as a minihub), nor any onward services to Nairobi and Luanda, the latter entirely excluded from the map. Johannesburg is reached by a long stretch from Atlanta, by-passing the earlier way station at Dakar-Yoff.
The Arab Spring left Cairo off Delta's system for the summer; the airline's only Middle East destination is currently Dubai, besides its connections to Ben Gurion. Amman was tried and dropped. India is still reached from Amsterdam, a legacy of the Northwest Airlines partnership with KLM.
Sunday, October 9, 2011
Oman Air is in all ways a smaller iteration of the Gulf's burgeoning supercarriers. This similarity includes an expansive array of destinations in its South Asian backyard. With far fewer seat-miles to the Subcontinent than its rivals, Oman Air nonetheless offers more than 15 destinations out of Muscat, catering especially to foreign contract workers and shopping trippers.
Saturday, October 8, 2011
Continued from the previous post: Omar Air in its home region. Even prior to its 2009 intercontinental expansion, Oman Air's network covered a number of cities in the Gulf and Arabian Peninsula.
Friday, October 7, 2011
What had been a small, regional start-up from one of the last members of the original Gulf Air consortium has, since a total transformation in 2009, become a rival in service and reach to the great supercarriers of the Gulf. The makeover was marked by a logographic move away from the flag-motif livery to a still-distinctive but less heraldic blue, white and gold scheme.
While not nearly as global as the six-continent networks of Emirates, Etihad, or Qatar Airways, the map and image above show Oman's A330s reaching as far as London and Bangkok ,with staggeringly luxurious cabins. The next two posts will index the carrier's growing Middle East and Subcontinental networks of the above map.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Via this website, showing the full-extent of the now-defunct Zambian Airways, around the height of its operation in perhaps 2008. Regional operations, apparently with two decrepit B737-200s, reached as far as Harare, Lilongwe, and Lubumbashi from Lusaka, and operated a second base at the center of the copperbelt, Ndola.
This airline is unrelated to the much older, larger, but equally moribund Zambia Airways, which used to stretch from New York to Bombay, with dozens of destinations in between.
Although descendant of an aviation enterprise stretching back to 1948, the formally-named Zambian Airway's reach and lifetime was much more limited. Having come in to the national name in 1998, in the wake of Zambia Airway's 1994 collapse, Zambian Airways itself suspended service in January 2009, which led to the government filing suit against the airline the following month. Zambia today is without a state carrier, although the privately-held Zambezi Airways reportedly covers southern Africa from Lusaka.
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
A colorless advert is a bit of a cold way to boast of a warm welcome, and isn't best to convey the exotic colors of southern Africa. In fact, this 1980s advertisement (the models' clothing suggests that the decade had just turned) gives minimal indication of the adventuresome destination that it purports to promote.
Rather than talk wildlife or people, the bland subject at hand is ease of check-in, which is hardly a selling point for leisure travelers picking a safari stop. And while this topic and the lack of color on the print is dull enough, it is the lack of pigment in the models which is all the more displeasing. While this ad may be directed at British tourists, its strange that even the counter clerk seems not to be of African descent. On the whole, the atmosphere of the page would make one think of the drudgery of Victoria Station, not the glory of Victoria Falls.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
A detail from the previous post, showing the 1982/1983 route map of Saudia from the memorabilia collection of Flickr user Caribb. The airline's concentration on European and North African routes remains strong today, even if such cities as Athens have since been dropped, and Amsterdam relegated to a cargo-only flight. The printing of the dots for cities is slightly off.
Special thanks again to Flickr user caribb for the Creative Commons license.
A previously unfeatured item from the incredible memorabilia collection of Flickr user caribb. Saudi Arabian green colors all this map's continents, of which Saudia had reached four as of the end of 1982 and the beginning of 1983, the period for which this map was created. Dhahran, Jeddah and Riyadh were the main hubs, as they are today.
Saudia's deafening L-1011s and jumbo B747s reached from Manila to New York. Saudia, which was rebranded Saudi Arabian Airlines in the late 1990s, still serves Kano and Khartoum, but is absent from Mogadishu-- an unusual destination even then. Addis Ababa, Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, Washington, Hong Kong and Guangzhou are some of the destinations added since then. (the next post will detail the European destinations).
Special thanks to Flickr user caribb for the create commons license to repost.
Monday, October 3, 2011
The airline of Saudi Arabia was still diminutive in 1969, but already had a presence on a prestigious passage: London to Bombay, via the Kingdom.
On Sundays, a Saudia B707 left Heathrow and stopped in Frankfurt. From whence it flew directly to Dhahran, finally arriving early Monday in Riyadh. That same Monday, a second Saudia B707 left London and arrived after 1AM on Tuesday in Jeddah. The Frankfurt-Geneva-Jeddah axis was covered on Thursdays. A BOAC plied London to Jeddah direct on a roaring VC-10. On Mondays and Fridays, jets left Jeddah for Karachi and Bombay, stopping at Riyadh and Dhahran.
Tickets could be purchased at any BOAC or TWA office worldwide.
Sunday, October 2, 2011
An astonishing vintage route map, a gem of the tremendous collection of the website Timetable Images. Its issue date of April 1976 could be guessed at from the styling alone: a shag-carpet, VW-bus interior striping of the continents that follows neither national boundaries nor time zones, but zigzags to its own groovy pattern. The coastlines of the landmass are geometrically simplified, squared-off while still showing smaller juts such as Crimea and Crete, Cornwall and Cape Cod.
This quadrangularity contrasts to the jet-black route lines. Frictionless, looping ribbons convex proudly from their true navigational path, making for easy reading on the map. Northern European Routes are pulled far out into the Atlantic; Southern European lines ply semicircles over the Sahara. Tripoli and Le Caire are linked by a fanciful arc which touches mainland Greece; Nouakchott, due north of Dakar, is connected to the Senegalese capital by a wide "C" shape.
The labels are in quintessential Microgramma typeface, both on the map and at what stands in for a legend: the spiraling emblem at the bottom left, featuring the Francophone names of the nations which Royal Air Maroc serves. Such a badge seems to be an award to mark this fantastic réseau as a classic achievement of route map graphics.
All this can be admired before even considering the routes themselves, of which there are several treasures: Lille is the sixth metropolitain city served; JFK is reached from both Casablanca and Tangier, before swooping north to terminate at Mirabel; the airline stretches as far east as Koweit.
As can be seen from previous posts, RAM has expanded rapidly across Africa in recent years, but it seems to have yet matched the graphic achievements of amazing cartograph.
Special thanks, as always, to Björn Larsson of Timetable Images for his efforts and permissions to repost.
Saturday, October 1, 2011
Fast-growing, gas-fueled Algeria's spreads it influence in West Africa with flights across the Francophone Sahelian and Sub-saharan region run its state airline, Air Algérie. The destinations, if not the routings, are shown here in a shot from the airline's sleek website.
Note the spelling of Bamako ("Bamaco"), as well as the blue-dot in the middle of the desert, Tamanrasset. Despite being the country's great trans-Saharan way station, Tamanrasset's airport does not seem to have any southbound scheduled services, although more than one airline links it to Paris-Orly.