Thursday, July 26, 2012

Air Madagascar: Regional Routes, 2005/6

From an overly-helpful website of a travel agency specializing in Madagascar, this Air Madagascar route map from half a decade ago shows its routes to neighboring islands and mainland Africa from October 2005-March 2006.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Linhas Aereas de Moçambique: Domestic Routes, 2012

Continuing from yesterday's post, the current domestic network of Mozambique's flag carrier shown via an attractively spare Adobe Illustrator job, found on its website. Flights fan out from the capital in the south to nearly every one of its eight national destinations, but every city is connected to at least two others, with several routes running out from the regional centers. Connections criss-cross on the belt at Beira and Quelimane, reaching to the northern capitals of Nampula and Pemba. A route from Tete to distant Lichinga crosses over Malawian airspace.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Linhas Aereas de Moçambique Routes, 2012

The well-tended website of Mozambique's state carrier, Linhas Aereas de Moçambique, features a handsomely spare route map. Although the online image shows the entire globe, LAM's routes are almost entirely confined to southern Africa as shown here. It is therefore curious that Asia and the Americas are included, as LAM serves neither and in fact only recently was able to re-enter the ex-African market with its return to Lisbon this year. There is a strong emphasis on not only other continents but connecting carriers' services, which quite strangely are shown in solid lines on the map, while the airline's own network is only depicted in faint dotted lines: the effect is to blur distinctions and make LAM's own operations diminished.

While the scope of LAM's presence is small, it impressively flies internationally from what appears to be no less than eight of its ten domestic airports: flies to Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam come out of northeastern Nampula and Pemba, whereas Joanesburgo is served from five cities. There is also a nonstop from Maputo to Cape Town. Somewhat strangely, it appears that the flight to Luanda originates from Inhambane, and the flight to Lisbon on LAM's own wings appears to stop in Beira-- perhaps these are cartographic errors?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Linhas Aereas de Moçambique: Maputo-Lisbon-Berlinin, 1983

Staying in southern Africa: Timetablist has featured a very similar envelope in the past, recognizing Linhas Aereas de Moçambique's service 1983 to Berlin from Maputo, via Lisbon. However, this particular item seems to be principally introducing not just the route but also the aircraft, the Primeiro Voo of a DC-10, which here roars to a landing, facing the viewer straight on. The cancellation stamp is impressed twice, featuring LAM's handsome spread-wing songbird logo. Note also the Fokker friendship in the colors of LAM's ancestor, DETA, on the postage stamp.

LAM has survived to the present day but is shamefully not currently serving Europe, due to the European Union's categorization that no carriers certified by Mozambique's aviation regulatory bodies may enter European airspace. However, given Mozambique's booming economy, demand for intercontinental airline seats is surely rising, and perhaps LAM's fortunes will rise with it.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Air Zimbabwe Schedule from Harare, 1997

The full schedule of Air Zimbabwe services from Harare in 1997 shows 17 destinations on at least two, possibly three continents. The typical timetable handbook format, used around the world by many airlines, often presents some curious itineraries: as in this instance it is difficult to contemplate such a volume of passengers between Zimbabwe and, say, Salt Lake City, or Tampa, or Klagerfurt, or Barbados, to warrant taking up the space (and expending the printing costs).

This is particularly true as the state carrier at the time seemed to serve only Frankfurt and London Gatwick (interestingly via Larnaca) beyond Africa, aside a somewhat curious Harare-Perth-Sydney service, with a UM flight number but operated by a B747. As there is no other source which records this venture, it suggests that Air Zim was wishfully assigning a codeshare as its own metal.

A decade later, the airline's schedule would pivot away from Antipodean and Anglophone areas and orient itself along the Africa-Asia-China axis  (as seen yesterday) which has been a major story of the 21st century.

This item is borrowed from the incredible blog which uncovered this 15-year old gem. The Timetablist is indebted to the Airline Memorabilia Blog for its continued support and the privilege of reposting these timetable pages. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Air Zimbabwe Schedule, September 2011

An Air Zimbabwe timetable from last year, some 14 years after yesterday's map, shows an airline no longer limited to Southern Africa, but with less service within the region also.

Such important connections as Cape Town, Durban, and Nairobi are gone, although the service to Lusaka now connects to Lubumbashi in the DR Congo. The furtive crossing of the Indian Ocean to Mauritius has now been replaced with a quixotic Asian connection to Beijing via Kuala Lumpur. The prestigious London route has been restored.

While the aircraft livery has been updated and a global reach has been achieved, Air Zimbabwe continues to be plagued with problems, and indeed was grounded in the time between this schedule's printing and now.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Air Zimbabwe Network, 1998

An academic airline illustration, from the January 2000 issue of the Journal of Transport Geography, in a paper titled, "Air Transport Operations and Policy in Zimbabwe, 1980-1998" by Chris Mutambirwa and Brian Turton.

The map isn't a graphic feat, its dry two-toned appearance fitting for the journalism at hand. The map shows not only current routes of Air Zimbabwe in 1998, but those such as Harare-Maputo and Victoria Falls-Windhoek that were withdrawn in 1997. The connecting lines also note the number of weekly flights per route. Gaborone is strangely out of place.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Air Zaïre Network, 1981

Given this week's sleek but slender offerings from newly-minted Korongo, its incredible to look back a time when Congolese carriers had a much wider reach: the above poster shows the spread of Air Zaïre at its zenith, when it was "also celebrating 20 years" since its founding in 1961 as Air Congo.

The national carrier had an astonishing array of services, which are here represented by a powerful kinetic gesture reminiscent of an African antelope artwork. The European cities are connected by the arc of the animal's horn: Athens, Rome, Geneva, Frankfurt, Madrid, Amsterdam, London, Paris, and of course Brussels

The second horn aligns with the West African route, linking Kinshasa with Lagos, Libreville, Douala, Lomé, Abidjan, and Dakar. Lubumbashi is the only domestic destination included here but was hardly the only internal operation. 

East Africa on the animal's underside show Lusaka, its southernmost city (South Africa was shunned) but also Kigali, Bujumbura, Nairobi, Entebbe and Dar Es Salaam.

This calligraphic creature was used for a number of years, appearing on timetables and other advertisements. Air Zaïre's fortunes would sink with the rest of the continent's aviation companies, and indeed with country itself, which continues to be mired in conditions far less promising than a quarter century ago. 

Monday, July 16, 2012

Korongo Airlines: Kinshasa-Lubumbashi, 2012

A web advert for the young Korongo Airlines, offering its 8 weekly flights to Lubumbashi from Kinshasa at also mentioning its twice-weekly flights to Johannesburg. The resemblance to its parent, Brussels Airlines, is apparent in the color scheme.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Korongo Airlines Network, 2012

A new chapter in the saga of Congolese Aviation is the recent arrival of Korongo Airlines. Backed by Belgians (as has so frequently been the case in the history of Congo's airlines), Korongo has been constituted by Brussels Airlines with other partners. According to the map, the airline seems to only offer a flight between Kinshasa and Lubumbashi, although the route map, taken from the airline's website, also includes diamond hub Mbuji-Mayi, secondary Katangan capital of Kolwezi. Beyond the vast extent of the Congo itself, prestigious plans are apparently in place for flights to Johannesburg (already underway according to the Wikipedia article) and Brussels-- the dashed line from Kinshasa suggests that for the time being passengers may connect with SN service to Zaventem.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Zambezi Airlines Routes, 2011

Zambezi Airlines has had a short, rocky history, having commenced flights in 2008 just before the demise of Zambian Airways. But its certificate to operate was suspended by authorities from 2011 until just last month. The airline is now resurrecting its regional network of scheduled services, currently only operating from Lusaka to Johannesburg but surely hoping to return to its pre-crisis network, which as can be seen above stretched from the DR Congo to Dar Es Salaam to Cape Town.

With the continued growth of the Zambian economy and boom in its cooper belt, along with its positive democratic developments, the young airline has the opportunity to land its reticulated tail fin at other airports across the region, giving the rising nation a de-facto flag carrier and a regional player.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Air Mauritius Network, c.2011

Air Mauritius, Africa's fourth-largest airline, has an admirable reach across four continents. Especially impressive are the links with three Australian and three South African cities, the four largest hubs of India (bridging the sizable South Asian diaspora on the island state) and the cluster of long routes to Europe: six major gateways in five countries, plying the high-end tourist trade. Shanghai had just been added at the time of this map's publication, and two grey circles detail code-share set-ups which reach deep into westernmost Europe and southeast Asia. Unfortunately, since this graphic was drawn, some of this spread has retreated: Kuala Lumpur, Milan, Sydney and Melbourne are all sadly departed.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Zambia Airways Routes, c.1980

A vintage (though undated) Zambia Airways timetable cover features a route map which fascinates with where the state carrier both did and did not fly. The only ex-African routes are to Europe, with non stops to London and Rome, the latter which branches off firstly to Frankfurt and then, bizarrely, to Belgrade. While East Africa's capitals are included, neither Rhodesia nor South Africa are served, presumably blockaded due to apartheid. No domestic routes are shown, aside from service from Livingston, at Victoria Falls. Maputo's Portuguese name is provided in parenthesis. The farthest eastern destination is Mauritius; the airline had yet to reach Bombay or Jeddah. There are no West African services, much less than flagship route to New York.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Air India: Bombay-Lusaka, June 1980

Thirty-two years ago, Air India had a much wider reach than today. Air India of a quarter-century ago had more service to African than the airline does to southeast Asia. Here is a special cover from the Indian Posts and Telegraphs ministry celebrating the first flight to Lusaka, Zambia, from Bombay.

The trademark Maharaja makes an appearance, bowing his head next to the dark and perfectly crisp cancellation stamp, underneath a postmark with a lovely illustration of an AI jumbo in flight (although surely this was not used to central Africa). However it is the resplendent peacock which dominates the decoration, its head not bent in supplication but turned back to admire its own fan of plumage.

Although Air India once served not only Zambia but also Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania (as recently as 2006), Uganda, Ethiopia, Ghana, and Nigeria, today it does not land on African soil at all.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Air India: the Gulf Routes, c.2012

Air India has more routes to the Gulf than what remains of its European, North American, or nonexistent African network but still the coverage is spare. Cairo is not served, Kuwait is farmed out, and there is no direct service from such megacities as Bangalore, Kolkata, Hyderabad or Amritsar (that latter three not even shown here) but only from the Keralan coastal centers of Kozhikode, Kochi, and Thiruvananthapuram.

Major Gulf hubs such as Doha and Bahrain are also absent. The label for Abu Dhabi is far removed from its dot, also. Everything about the contemporary Air India, a sad shadow of its former self, indicates an airline out of focus.

Air India: International Routes, c. 2012

Air India's global reach appears more comprehensive at first than it really is given this map's format. Once it is understood that the red lines indicate other air carriers, Air India's operations are in proper perspective: most of the cities on the map are unnecessary, including those such as Chicago which Air India served for years but flies to no more. In fact, the state carrier of one of the world's largest countries incredibly serves fewer than 25 international cities. Note the non-stop from Frankfurt to Amritsar, and another from Bangalore to Singapore, and that Kolkata has no international services. The world of Air India is rather diminutive.

The following post will detail the inset of the Middle Eastern routes.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Austrian Airlines: Routes East from Vienna, 2011

As mentioned in yesterday's post, Austrian Airlines still has a Near Eastern presence, but a with a different profile from a quarter-century ago. Here, on an increasingly-ordinary Innosked information interface is Austrian Airlines's international routes across Asia. The airline reaches as far as Bangkok, Beijing and Tokyo but has more routes in the Near East, from Tel Aviv to Tehran, and Amman to Dubai, but also including less common cities such as Baku and Yerevan. Most notably, Austrian has been among the few and first to serve Baghdad, and remains one of only two European airlines flying to Erbil in the Kurdish north (the other being Lufthansa).

A number of leisure cities are shown, from Larnaca in Cyprus to Male in the Maldives. The latter is formerly part of the portfolio of the previously-independent but still distinct Lauda Air, prior to its takeover into the flag carrier, when longer-range services to Asia were transferred to the parent. Some of the destinations in Turkey and Egypt shown here are actually served by Lauda, not Austrian.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Austrian Airlines: Vienna-Riyadh, October 1986

Lufthansa has not been the only German-speaking airline serving the Gulf states. Here, Austrian Airlines links Vienna to Riyadh, beginning in 1986. Incredibly, this was operated using a narrow-body MD-82, hardly a spacious option for such a long fight.

Its also remarkable that the cancellation stamp shows the 1971-era striped water tower, which in the 1980s was Riyadh's only modern landmark (surely today with iconic Kingdom Centre or Al Faisaliyah skyscraper would be used). Austrian still serves a number of cities in the Middle East, but Riyadh is not currently one of them.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Lufthansa Cargo: Dhahran-Dubai-Hong Kong, 1991

Normally, Timetablist limits its interest to commercial passenger schedules of past and present, but as yesterday's post brought up the topic of Lufthansa's history of hopping within the Gulf region, here is a envelope marking the commencement of a global freight route wrapping around the belt of Asia, from Frankfurt to Hong Kong via Dhahran and Dubai.

The B747F is shown twice, however both illustrations are rather distorted, particularly on the elongated profile on the cartoonish cancellation stamp. The other aligns the ailerons with the outline of an unspecified mosque-and-minarets profile. Note also the petroleum production emblazoned on the Saudi Arabian postage stamp.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Lufthansa: Karachi-Kuwait, December 1990

Because regional routes within foreign continents is increasingly rare in the 21st century, it is remarkable how extensive such globe-spanning was even in recent decades for the handful of world-dominating flag carriers, Lufthansa chief among them. Here, an A310 which surely calls Frankfurt home, is headed to Kuwait from Karachi.  Its very difficult to discern the date of this envelope, as the ink missed the paper just where the year is printed. LH633 would at other times be routed Karachi-Riyadh and Riyadh-Muscat, and Dubai-Dhahran, in many instances with a DC-10. Presently, however, LH633 is not an active flight number, and currently the German airline is not seen at Karachi.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Pakistan International Airlines: Sialkot to Kuwait, 2008

The signature globes of Kuwait Towers are twinned with an overflowing bunch of footballs in this print advert for "another first for PIA" with once-weekly service from Sialkot to the emirate, barely more than a month after the privately-built Sialkot international airport had opened. Kuwait is one of several Gulf cities that PIA flies to from Sialkot, among them Riyadh, Jeddah, Sharjah and Muscat. Air links between Pakistan and the Gulf are quick substantial, largely due to commercial and financial connections but also the massive flows of migrant workers to the understaffed economies of the region.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Pakistan International Airlines: Supersonic Service

There was a particular moment, early in the supersonic era, when the world community looked forward to the widespread employment of the Anglo-French Concorde, as well as its American and Russian counterparts. The Boeing SST never made it beyond the prototype phase; and the Tupolev's Tu-144 greatest achievement was whisking mail from Moscow to Alma-Ata.

Europe's Concorde of course, only entered limited service on routes that were mostly over water, and for most of its life could only survive on the highest-paying routes from New York-JFK.

This vision shows Pakistan International's own sound-barrier-breaking flagship on an imaginary route clearing a cottony cover of cloud, perhaps reaching altitude out of Heathrow on its way to Karachi. Courtesy of the wonderful website PIA was one of over a dozen global airlines that placed orders for the Boeing SST before the program was cancelled.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Air France: Voyage de Concorde a Abidjan, January 1978

A rather speedier journey to Abidjan from yesterday's routing is this direct flight of Air France's Concorde on 11 January 1978. Apparently, this was a charter flight for le President de la République to travel to Paris, which he and his entourage apparently did in just under 3.5 hours; supersonic service to Cote D'Ivoire was not a regularly scheduled operation, and chartering Air France's Concorde was neither the most extravagant expenditure that Felix Houphouët-Boigny commanded as head of state, nor indeed even the only francophone African leader to borrow Concordes for personal trips to Europe (Zaïrean President Mobutu Sese Seko was famous for this as well, even building a Concorde-capable airport at his hometown of Gbadolite).

Its not clear just what the blue-inked edifice at the lower center of the envelope is meant to be. Air France's dashing new ribbon-tricolore branding, introduced that same year, is prominent at the far left and on the center of the cancellation stamp.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Air France: Paris-Dakar-Abidjan, September 1960.

One of Air France's first duties for its shiny new B707s was on the crucial bridge to its colonial capitals: Dakar and Abidjan, which began in September 1960. A handsome broad-side elevation of the airborne quad jet is imprinted on this envelope in Air France blue, under the title "BOEINGINTERCONTINENTALAIR FRANCE" and "Première Liaison" underneath. Several cancellation stamps provide the same detail.