Saturday, January 21, 2012

Emirates Network, 1989

The extend of the toddler Emirates Airline, c.1989, courtesy of the wonderful archive of

Similar to yesterday's post on Thai Airways, the dominant colors are pale yellow with thick black route lines, although this map features the continents, with the oceans in blue, and also the route network lacks the trapezoidal circuitry of the Thai Airways map.

Not that such graphic gymnastics are required here: diminutive Emirates, which now overpowers service between India and Europe, linking scores of cities in each region, at this time served only two Western European airports: Frankfurt and London, the first not even nonstop, but via Istanbul; which although surely at the time the latter not even Heathrow, but less-prestigious Gatwick (an airport Emirates has since vacated).

North America, where as of mid-2012 Emirates will offer nonstop service to more than half a dozen airports, is not even included on this map. Neither any part of Asia east of Bengal, much less Australia, to which Emirates is now a dominant competitor on the Kangaroo Route. Despite its upstart status and small size, Emirates was already on the move, as indicated by the map's caption. If the same section of the earth's surface were the focus of an Emirates map today, it would show only a slim majority of the super carrier's six-continent operations.

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