Monday, May 14, 2012

Air Zimbabwe: Johannesburg-Victoria Falls, c.2005

Flying Air Zimbabwe may nowadays only very rarely induce a smile, particularly when the route is attempted with an ancient B737-200, but nonetheless the airline has made an effort to stay relevant to the South African tourist market with its thrice-weekly service from Johannesburg to Victoria falls, shown here in an advert from perhaps eight years ago, boasting of online services and the airline's Rainbow Club membership.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Air Namibia Network: The Airline of wide open spaces, c.1991

A delightful vintage postcard from Air Namibia. Its publication date can only be guessed at, but as the airline rebranded from its elongated crane logo to a more national, flag-based scheme in the late 1990s, and Air Namibia only launched at the country's independence in 1990, perhaps the small text "Windhoek Printers 91" indicates the year of press.

That issue aside, the airline at the time boasted a a Boeing fleet on B737-200s and its B747SP, the performative aspects of which are boasted on the back of the postcard, above a route map showing just six routes from Windhoek, the only one outside of southern Africa being the long stretch to Frankfurt. The text states the B747SP is "used on longhaul international routes" yet the map shows just this one.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Air Namibia Route Map, Summer 2011

The facing page of yesterday's schedule as it appears in Flamingo magazine, Air Namibia's in-flight literature, shows a stately map of the airline's full network. The page features not one but two compasses for the proper atmosphere or exploration, while the bottom of the page recommends booking online. Frankfurt's arrow is labelled with a repeat of the main title, beckoning with its "beyond," while Durban, a recent destination, is gone from the Indian Ocean coast.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Air Namibia Schedule, Summer 2011

The complete schedule of Air Namibia published in its in-flight magazine, Flamingo, in the summer of 2011, starts with domestic routes on board is Embraer 135, extending to its regional routes to various Southern African capitals with A319 and B737 aircraft, which also serve more distant Accra, and finishing with its flagship Airbus A340 flights from Windhoek to Frankfurt

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Air Namibia Network, October 2011

An indigo-violet map showing Air Namibia's major routes, most notable for its far stretches to Accra and Frankfurt, but also its important links to South Africa: Cape Town, Durban, and of course Johannesburg, but also to neighboring capitals Harare, Lusaka, Gaborone, and Luanda. Regional tourism centers, most notably Victoria Falls and Maun, gateway to Botswana's Okavango Delta, are also covered.

Namibian airports with international operations are included here, such as Walvis Bay's link to Cape Town (WVB); Mpacha Airport at Katima Mulilo in the Caprivi Strip (MPA); and Rundu Airport in the Kavango region (NDU). Ondongwa Airport (OND) is also shown, although with only its tiny connection to Windhoek.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Air Namibia: Windhoek-Accra Weekly Schedule, Autumn 2011

Air Namibia has in the last year wisely pursued a market opportunity between Western and Southern Africa by providing a daily connection between Accra and Windhoek, with onward service to Johannesburg and other destinations, competing head-on with South African Airways on the intra-African link. The airline has made a major marketing push in Accra to promote the route, producing helpful literature such as the timetable above and blanketing the city with billboards, such as the below:

Monday, May 7, 2012

Accra Kotoka Airport: Tuesday Evening Departures, November 2011

In the evening, most of the long-haul carriers return to their home bases from Accra's Kotoka International Airport, as this segment of the Tuesday schedule from November 2011 shows. These include the northerly, European carriers, such as KLM and British Airways, as well as the somewhat rarer Alitalia departure just prior to midnight, one the Italian carrier's few remaining sub-Saharan services.

Also here are more easterly-based airlines, such as Turkish (via Lagos), Egyptair, Emirates and MEA, the latter routing their Beirut service via Kano. There is also a southerly route on South African Airways which leaves for Johannesburg at 11PM.

Accra Kotoka Airport: Tuesday Midday Departures, November 2011

The middle of Tuesday last November at Accra's Kotoka International Airport shows several various West African connections, including ASKY to Lomé, Air Nigeria to Monrovia, Kenya Airways to Freetown (originating in Nairobi), Emirates to Abidjan (a continuation from Dubai), and United Air Lines to Lagos (having started in Washington). ASKY flies to Freetown and Banjul at mid-afternoon, after Egyptair's departure for Cairo.

Accra Kotoka Airport: Tuesday Morning Departures, November 2011

Tuesday morning at Accra's Kotoka International last November had some of the same regional routes: Abidjan, Lagos, and Abuja on Air Nigeria, Arik Air, and Air Ivoire, but also linked by MEA, Ethiopian, and Egyptair. A Royal Air Maroc flight runs to Casablanca and back. By mid-morning, two long-haul day flights get set to depart: a Delta B767 to New York JFK, and a somewhat unusual Virgin Atlantic A340 non-stop to London Heathrow, which arrives in the UK at 6pm.

There are several typos here, the most consequential is the departure at 0810, listed as AI 2002, which is surely wrong as there is no Air India service to Accra, much less on a B737 via Lagos.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Accra Kotoka Airport Monday Evening Departures, November 2011

Continuing from the previous post, the Monday evening departures table shows a host of intercontinental carriers leaving Accra for distant destinations in Europe and elsewhere. This includes both Kotoka's traditional standbys, KLM to Amsterdam and British Airways to London, as well as new-comers such as Emirates to Dubai at 5:30, Turkish Airlines to Istanbul, United Airlines to Washington Dulles, TAP to Lisbon, and Afriqiyah Airways to Tripoli.

Also seen here are southern hemispheric services, specifically South African Airways non-stop to Johannesburg and Air Namibia to Jo'berg via Windhoek. There are only a handful of regional departures to Lagos in the late afternoon as well as an Air Ivoire flight at 8PM to Lomé.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Accra Airport, Monday Departures, November 2011

The flight schedule for Accra's Kotoka International Airport from the Ghana Airports Authority for a typical Monday in November 2011 shows 20 departures in a 12 hour period. High-frequency routes for West Africa are those that depart more than once a day, and in this case hops from Accra to Abidjan, Abuja, Monrovia, and above all Lagos make the list, served by regional airlines such as Arik Air and Air Ivoire as well as global carriers looping the two cities into one flight schedule, such as United, Emirates and Egyptair, which turns around for Cairo in the early afternoon.

Other West African connections include Air Burkina to Ouagadougou, ASKY to Freetown, Lomé, and Banjul. At ten minutes to nine, a Virgin Atlantic A340 leaves for London Heathrow; a Delta B767-300 departs for New York JFK fifty minutes later.

The following post continues the analysis of this timetable. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Accra Kotoka International Airport Departure Board, November 12, 2011

The midday line-up of flights out of Kotoka Airport in Accra, Ghana on Sunday, 12 November 2011.

The roster is mostly regional, with Air Nigeria departing for Monrovia (with a later link to Lagos), followed by ASKY quickly jumping to its main base at Lomé (also hopping to Abidjan several hours later). Kenya Airways, on a continuation of its Nairobi service, also flies to Robertsfield, Kotoka's third-busiest bridge, while Arik Air is the other airline to land at Lagos from Accra (the busiest route from Accra and in all of West Africa). Air Burkina has an evening flight northward to Ouagadougou.

The remaining flights stretch beyond the immediate subregion: Egyptair to Cairo and MEA's evening flight to Beirut are testament to the important commercial links to the Near East, while Emirates continuation of its Dubai-Accra service flows on to Abidjan at five minutes to 2PM.

At the noon hour, an Ethiopian Airlines departure for Addis Ababa is proceeded by United Airlines transatlantic run to Washington Dulles - the airline's first African destination, which started in 2010 and sadly is scheduled to end next month.