Saturday, March 17, 2012

Surinam Airways Network, 2010-2012

As vintage as this map may seem graphically, the A340 was only acquired by Surinam Airways in November 2009, so the image must be relatively recent. From its base at Paramaribo, the state carrier flies up and down the brow of South America, from Belem in Brazil and up into the West Indies, linking Port of Spain with the Dutch-associated Aruba and Curaçao, but surprisingly not Bonaire. The Caribbean connection finally terminates at Miami, from where, the map indicates, other airlines connect to unspecified American cities.

Barbados, as well as Georgetown, Guyana, and Cayenne, French Guiana, are all shown but seemly not part of the system.

Quite apart from this regional spread is the airline's pride of service, for which the diminutive carrier has employed wide body jumbos and quad-engined Airbuses: the trans-Atlantic span to the seat of the former colonial power: Amsterdam. Weekly flights run nonstop to Schiphol.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

National Airlines Network, c.1979

A great smile spreading from California to the Alps, National Airlines ran a boomerang-shaped network at the height of its operations. Multiple routes roped between regions like the strings of a guitar: A cluster of West Coast cities linked to the Deep South and Florida, where the network pivoted up the Eastern Seaboard to New York and Washington, or continued its arc across the Atlantic to five of Europe's largest gateways: London, Paris, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, and Zürich.

The map is unique in that one dot represents multiple airports within one metropolitan region: Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Miami are together; Tampa, St. Petersburg, Sarasota, and Fort Myers are one; Charleston/Savannah, New York/Newark, Mobile/Pensacola, and San Francisco/San Jose the same. Its difficult to discern the hubs of the network here, but it seems that Miami, New Orleans and Jacksonville were the keystones of this arch. For the latter two, this was truly a golden age, as neither has yet to regain non-stop transatlantic flights to multiple European cities.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Air New England: Systemwide Routes, 1975

A small section of the United States was a world unto itself in the days of commuter carriers such as Air New England, which offered flights across four northeastern states, as well as New York (presumably LaGuardia), midway through its lifespan.

Boston Logan was the major hub. Other regional airports, such as Manchester, New Hampshire, or Bangor, Maine, and T.F. Greene State Airport in Rhode Island, as well as the entire state of Connecticut, were not covered by the system, although these are the region's principal secondary airports. Some of these were served in later years, and the airline reached as far as Baltimore and Cleveland before its demise in 1981.

The links within southeastern Massachusetts, the Cape and the Islands, mimic a present-day Cape Air.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Allegheny Airlines: Systemwide Network, 1963

Allegheny Airlines, the pride of the Northeast, had a taught span across the spine of Appalachia. Mainline schedules between a northern terminus at Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and a southernmost end at Washington, cross-hatched with activity out of its strong bases at Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Wilkes-Barre, Providence and Baltimore.

Many municipal airfields which have no commercial service today, including those at Wheeling, New London, Bridgeport, Reading, were linked to regional capitals in Allegheny's cats-cradle.

The most distant routes reached the Great Lakes, splitting from Jamestown on the shores of Lake Chautauqua, continuing northward to reach Buffalo and westward to Erie, where it split again to either of those great mid-American metropoli, Cleveland and Detroit. A southwestern spur from Pittsburgh plunged down the Ohio River Valley, touching Wheeling, Marietta, and terminating at Huntington-Ashland.

Allegheny would, fifteen years after the publication of this map, and in the frenzied era of deregulation, form the basis for USAir, which would in turn lead Pittsburgh and Baltimore through massive airport expansions as major mid-continent and mid-Atlantic hubs. Today, only USAirway's presence at Philadelphia and its general prominence in the metro Washington and New York markets lend any veneration to its Alleghenian origins.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Air Greenland: Systemwide Network, 2011

A glowing white and blue map of the network of Greenland's national airline, form its website. After a sadly ill-fated venture to Baltimore Washington International Airport, Air Greenland now only serves its metropole, Copenhagen. On the icy island, twenty settlements are reached some with Dash-8 props, but many others only by Bell Helicopter. Northeasternmost North America beckons nearby, and the airline has plans to open a summer route to Canada later this year. Its a bit of a shame that Air Greenland's dashing scarlett logo is absent from the image.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Air Iceland Network, 2011

Two dull marketing statements overwhelm the cool arctic shine of Air Iceland's route map, showing the island nation itself, its glacier fields demarcated in white. The airline operates its pegasus-emblazoned props out of Reykjavík's airport in the city's center (Keflavík is not served) to the tiny communities in the north and northeast of the country, as well as a half-dozen settlements on nearby Greenland, which is unfortunately not charted here.

A connection to the main airport on the Farøe Islands, at Vágar, is also indicated by an arrow at bottom-right. Its nice that the airline is low-cost and reasonably low-fare, but somewhat unfortunate that the Nordic exoticness is in turn so under-celebrated.

Friday, March 9, 2012

LOT Polish Airlines: US Routes, 2007-2010

LOT Polish Airlines had quite a few more flights to the United States, from quite a few more Polish cities, just a few years ago. This included non-stop service from Kraków to Chicago and non-stop wide body flights from Rzeszów to both New York-JFK and Newark which began in June 2007, but have since been discontinued. The airline still flies to all three American airports, but only from Warsaw's Chopin International.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

SAS: Stockholm-Chicago, February 1972

A soaring jumbo jet, emblazoned with a blue Viking dragon, roars toward the holder of this envelope announcing the arrival of SAS 747s at Chicago O'Hare from Stockholm, forty years and one month ago. The route is still served today (but now with Airbus aircraft).

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

SAS: Copenhagen to Los Angeles, November 1954.

The first "regular" flight from Scandinavia to Los Angeles, via SAS. On 15 November 1954 a DC-6 departed Copenhagen for California, apparently via "Grønland," although the way station is not further specified. SAS no longer flies to LAX.

Monday, March 5, 2012

SAS: Map of the Long-Haul Routes, 1973

The impressive five-continent Scandinavian Airlines System in 1973, a gem of incredible collection of flickr user caribb. Here is the left-hand portion, showing the Western Hemisphere and the African continent.

SAS used Central and Southern European airports as more temperate way-stations for many of its transocean crossings: Zürich and Athens appear to be particularly large bases for the African routes, and the South American connection clearly stops at Lisbon, from whence it continues to Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and Santiago. A second southern Atlantic routing runs through Robertsfield in Monrovia on the way to Rio de Janeiro.

East African routes reach Entebbe and Nairobi from Europe before proceeding further southward, spurring off at Dar Es Salaam and terminating at Johannesburg. Today Scandinavian does not even land at Cairo.

The North American network is much less different today: there are still transpolar non stops from Stockholm and Copenhagen to Newark and Chicago, but not New York-JFK. Seattle was a long-lasting station which closed only a few years ago, and Los Angeles, Toronto, and Montreal have all been dropped. The Scandinavian Airlines of the 21st century has also completely retreated from Africa, the Caribbean and South America.

Special thanks again to Flickr user caribb (Doug from Montreal) for both assembling an outstanding collection of vintage airline literature, and making it available to others via Creative Commons terms.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Finnair: Worldwide Network, c.2005-08

Finnair's own Baltic blue flavors this smooth polar projection of the airline's routes. The destinations arrayed are quite similar to the last post, although with all three of Finnair's destinations in Japan are shown, and the inclusion of Guangzhou, dating the map to sometime between 2005 and 2008. Miami is the southwestern extent of the network, although it is unlabeled.

Most remarkably similar to the previous post's map is the European segment, which seems to show the same cache of cities: Madrid, Milan, Budapest, Rome, Dublin, and Paris--suggesting some sort of special meaning in terms of intercontinental connections via Vantaa.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Finnair Worldwide Network, c.2009

A global route map of Finnair as viewed from the north pole. The airlines's routes to New York and Miami cross into Arctic airspace, while its long routes to Asia fan out to the right. A small bushel of European short-hauls, seeming tiny by comparison, do not depict all of the airline's regional routes; perhaps this is meant to simply illustrate connections to its long-haul network.

Special thanks to the website for the image.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Finnair: The Chinese Routes, 2012

A silvery, polarized projection showing the trans-Asian routes of Finnair from Helsinki to China. Later this year, in May 2012, Finnair will add its fourth destination to its Chinese roster, landing at Jiangbei International Airport in Chongqing, shown above in hot pink.

Its not particularly clear as to why the other cities that Finnair does not connected to Vantaa are shown, as its especially unlikely that plans are in the works for Finnish connections to Kunming or Tibet.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Estonian Air: Summer Timetable & Route Map, 2000

A miniature route-map and schedule for a miniature country and airline: The Summer timetable (Suvine lennuplaan) for Estonian Air in the year 2000. Like the country's flag and the airline's sharp color scheme, shown on a B737 on the cover, the printing is done in Baltic blue and black ink, and featuring what has to be one of the simplest and sharpest bird emblems in all of aviation.

The map shows only north central Europe, as the airline's limits extend only to London, Oslo, St. Petersburg and Kiev. This is made a bit more difficult as Moscow, Minsk and Frankfurt seem a bit out of place to fit the frame of the diminutive graphic. All routes are out of Tallinn, there are no domestic routes nor other Estonian gateways; this corner of the Baltic has extensive ferry (and even at one point helicopter) services, so there is no need to fly across the Helsinki.