Friday, December 23, 2016

Emirates: Dubai to (the wrong) Panama City, August 2015

Back when Emirates first announced the world's newest-longest flight, non-stop between Dubai and Panama, in August 2015, it was major news, both due to the length of the flight plan itself and the slightly unusual destination. Although Panama is the hub for COPA airlines and therefore a significant aviation crossroads for Latin America, Emirates has no formal feeder arrangement in place with the Panamanian airline previously, and also bypassed larger cities and airports, most notably Mexico City. 

The news made Bloomberg, although a sub-sub at the graphics department missed the memo about which Panama City was being connected; here clearly showing the Spring Break version, in the panhandle of Florida, lit in yellow. Oops. 

An additional oops has been the heavily-delayed roll-out of the flight, first set for early 2016, it is now expected sometime in the first half of 2017, but has yet to declare a specific date for the inaugural flight. In the meantime, the airline has boldly expanded in Florida, adding Orlando in late 2015 and most recently Fort Lauderdale, but not, however, Panama City. But, you ever know with Emirates.  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Emirates Route Map, August 2016: Africa

As impressive as Emirates airline's reach across Europe is, the megacarrier blankets Africa equally, from Dakar to Dar Es Salaam to Durban. Here, the airline links together several city pairs for operation efficiency. As noted earlier, service to Dakar began backtracking to Dubai via Bamako recentlyLusaka service terminates in Harare; Kano and Abuja are banded together, and flights to Accra shuttle to Abidjan and back before returning to the UAE.

For all the credit that Emirates is due in its dedication to the continent, it had relegated the last of its comparatively older A340s to its African routes before retirement.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Emirates Route Map, August 2016: Europe

A thick baobab trunk of routes juts up from Mesopotamia, spreading its boughs across the European continent. With a staggering 37 European destinations, Emirates has blanketed the region with flights even more so than any other portion of the globe, from Moscow to Manchester, Milan to Malta, Madrid to Munich. The depth of its reach is shown in secondary and tertiary markets: Prague, Budapest, Geneva, Lyon, Nice, Oslo, Glasgow, Bologna, and Hamburg are just a handful of third-tier cities which see a wide-body Emirates plane land daily, non-stop from Dubai.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Emirates Route Map, August 2016: The Middle East

For a long-haul, all-widebody airline, Emirates has not retreated from the short-haul demands of its home region—recognizing the feeder traffic into its immense global network (even as the immediate region is inundated with competition from other state carriers, as well as its friendly home town rivalry with low-cost FlyDubai). 

Here too, Emirates has utilized its superjumbo A380s on routes to Jeddah (three times per day), Kuwait, and, most recently, to Doha—the world's shortest A380 route. While seemingly untenable, the short operations optimize the scheduling efficiency of the ultra-long-haul behemoth.

Even where two decks of seats would be overkill, Emirates employs its B777s and A330s from Beirut to Muscat, often offering far more tickets on each flight than the competition's B737s and A320s. 

Monday, December 19, 2016

Emirates Route Map, August 2016: South Asia

While the Indian subcontinent was not detailed on the worldwide map of Emirates Airline's routes, the region is vital to the megacarrier's strategy and success. The perennial observation of Emirates growth and network, both regionally and globally, is that the airline is not so much a flag-carrier for the UAE or the Gulf region, but for the huge populations of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Dubai itself acts as a major business capital for these economies and a convenient offshore banking, trade and leisure destination for the region's elite. With megacities such as Mumbai, Karachi and Delhi just a few hours away, hardly enough time to serve dinner on the business class deck of an A380, strategy for Emirates, and for Dubai, has paid off, as evidenced by the dearth of non-stop flights between India and North America. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Emirates Route Map, August 2016: The American Routes

Yesterday's post introduced the latest Emirates route map, with its gorgeously-tessalated, neo-Fullerian projection. Left off that first post was this second page, showing the Americas exclusively (and a large swath of the southeast Pacific, interestingly). 

Emirates increasing number of routes to North America are some of the longest commercial flights in the world, especially the ultra-long haul DubaiSan Francisco and Dubai—Los Angeles runs, whose twice daily A380 services are scheduled in at a staggering 16 hours 15 minutes, currently the world's sixth longest non-stop flight, followed by Dubai—Houston, which is ninth. Dubai—Dallas is 17th, and Dubai—Fort Lauderdale is 24th, and Dubai—Orlando is 28th. 

Even though it doesn't rank as highly, the Sao Paulo non-stops generally top 15 hours, the Buenos Aires link an even longer haul. Indeed, the shortest route on this map is the controversial fifth-freedom MilanNew York JFK service. 

While Emirates continues to add U.S. gateways (as was discussed in posts earlier this month), it is interesting to note that several large cities have yet to be reached, particularly Mexico City but also Vancouver and Montreal (which is served by Qatar and Turkish Airlines). Miami was recently bypassed for Ft. Lauderdale, a curious development in American intercontinental aviation which has been covered extensively earlier this month.

The map does include the Dubai—Panama route, which at 17.5 hours would soar in the rankings of ultra-long haul services. However, this launch has been delayed for almost a year and the exact start date has not been set, it is both drawn on the system and featured in the box at lower right, which also announces the start of flights to Bologna and Bamako—the table itself an index of the extraordinary breadth and growth of this behemoth airline. 

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Emirates Route Map, August 2016: The Global Routes

Since last year, Emirates undertook a redesign of their increasingly-complex route map. This stunning, dynamic work of pseudo-Dymaxion cartography is the result.

Over the next week, each page and inset of the route map will be posted in detail. This is page one, showing the red superhighways of superjumbos bolting out of Dubai like a network of refinery pipelines (fitting for a Gulf carrier). Africa, East Asia and Australasia are shown fully; South Asia and the Middle East are blank. Likewise, Europe is left mostly empty, except as it indicates the trans-Atlantic routes, which are shown passing polarwise for North America and in a trans-equatorial conduit across central Africa.

This map best represents the far Asian routes from Beijing to Bangkok and, as was discussed in the last post, the megadarrier's predominance in the Southeast Asia—Australia market and the trans-Tasman airspace, the interconnections between Bangkok and Singapore and the major Australian cities, and onward to Auckland.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Emirates: The Worldwide Route Map, March 2015

Continuing to look at Emirates this week, here is the intricate pinwheel of Emirates routes radiating out of Dubai in March 2015, scooping clockwise to East Asia and the Americas, Africa and Southern Europe, and counter-clockwise to Australia and Northern Europe. 

Several routes stand out from the spinning pattern: the controversial Milan Malpensa—New York JFK superjumbo operation being one, and the connection between Larnaca and Malta cuts across several of the three dozen routes which make up the tremendously dense European services. 

The network is at its most complex in Australasia, with the mini-hub in Singapore connecting via Colombo with onward routes directly to Brisbane and Melbourne, which also has a non-stop from Kuala Lumpur, whereas Sydney has a direct connection to Bangkok, which is itself linked to Hong Kong. All three eastern Australian cities connect to Auckland; Emirates is now a dominant player in the trans-Tasman market, flooding the antipodean skies with double-decker A380s, and making an additional appearance at Christchurch

Elsewhere, a few distant pairs are linked up operationally: the Rio de Janeiro service continues on to Buenos Aires (whereas Sao Paulo gets a dedicated non-stop); Accra and Abidjan have long been linked together. Most notably, Dakar is shown as triangulating with Conakry, although this perennially delayed service relaunch was only underway in October.

Norwegian Air Shuttle: The Long-Haul Destinations, November 2016

The recent route map of Norwegian Long Haul, the dreamliner-fleet division of Norwegian Air Shuttle, rapidly covering the globe.

The emphasis on dominating the low-fare brackets of the trans-Atlantic trade are clear, with eight American cities served, only three of which are predominantly leisure destinations: Fort Lauderdale, Las Vegas, and Orlando. Although utilizing some secondary airports like Oakland and BWI, Norwegian has not shied away from primary gateways such as LAX and JFK and other major airports like Newark. As mentioned in the first post this month about Norwegian, Barcelona will soon be added, giving several of these U.S. cities flights from six European airports on Norwegian B787s.

Four Caribbean destinations are also reached, these, interestingly served from these same North American cities: BostonGuadeloupe and Boston—Martinique began in February 2016 before any flights to Logan from Copenhagen, Oslo, or London Gatwick. The French West Indies are served from New York and Baltimore as well. San Juan and St. Croix are only served from Europe.

The network is far less developed in the easterly direction. Reminiscent of the posts from earlier this month, but one Asian destination is served: Bangkok.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Emirates: Daily flights to/from Ft. Lauderdale, 15 December 2016

As mentioned in the last post, today marks the launch of Emirates Airline's daily non-stop service from Dubai to Ft. Lauderdale, the Gulf mega-carrier's 11th U.S. gateway and the second in Florida—the 10th American city was Orlando, launched in September 2015. The B777-300 service is by far the longest non-stop from Ft. Lauderdale.

The marketing of the flight by Emirates has been somewhat interesting, as the adverts emphasize "South Florida" with pictures of the art deco streets of Miami Beach.

Along Sheikh Zayed Road, in Dubai itself, where the airline takes up the side of a massive Novotel in Dubai Internet City to advertise its constant new services, the tarps are emblazoned with "Miami" over Ft. Lauderdale, as seen here as workers paste over the "Hello Hanoi" advertisements from the beginning of 2016.


Monday, December 12, 2016

Norwegian Air Shuttle: New Route to Fort Lauderdale from Paris, August 2016

Yesterday's post discussed the acceleration of Newark Airport into an intercontinental gateway beginning around 1990, and the role of a Scandinavian airline in that growth. Here we have a similar circumstance, as the compact Ft. Lauderdale International Airport has grown from a discount, secondary airport into a major intercontinental gateway to balance Miami International in handling trans-ocean traffic into South Florida. 

Ft. Lauderdale's profile was elevated with the appearance of Caribbean and Latin American feeder flights and Canadian snow-bird services. Today, flag carriers now reach Ft. Lauderdale from as far as Colombia, Ecuador, and, since 2014, Brazil. Most recently—and most astonishingly—there is now nonstop service to Dubai, with Emirates commencing non-stop B777 flights this week. Announced barely two months ago, UAE megacarrier chose FLL over Miami as its 11th U.S. gateway due to its inline partnership with Jetblue.

But as impressive as the 14+ flight distances are, a recent development that has greatly raised Ft. Lauderdale as a gateway to Europe has been the arrival of Norwegian Air Shuttle's dreamliners from its Long Haul division. Paris-CDG is the fifth European city that Norwegian is connecting to Broward County, beginning flights this past August. Norwegian will add Barcelona as its sixth non-stop next year. Also announced back in October: British Airways will also start flying from London-Gatwick in 2017, and Condor made the airport part of its nationwide entry into the U.S. market from Frankfurt

Sunday, December 11, 2016

SAS: Oslo-Newark Launch, March 2011

Continuing to look at SAS, this magazine page advert announced daily service from Oslo to Newark commencing on 28 March 2011, with an A330. The Scandinavian air confederation has a unique history with the New Jersey airport, having moved all its New York-area operations there in 1989-1990 as part of its partnership with—and ownership stake in— Continental Airlines, one of the early precursors to today's global alliance format, although it seems that in those days the transatlantic flights were only to Copenhagen and Stockholm. Those cities are listed here, along with Bergen, Stavanger, and Helsinki, somewhat curiously, in that Finland is not a member of the SAS system.

Friday, December 9, 2016

SAS: The Worldwide Routes, 1960

In looking at the 21st century SAS, we can compare yesterday's subject to same airline at the height of its global reach. 

One the more regal route maps to ever grace the Timetablist, this magnificent, dynamic cartography exemplifies an earlier era the grandeur of the jet age is reflected in the eloquence of this graphic design. A so-called “spiral-polar projection,” which was “created especially for Scandinavian Airlines System to illustrate its worldwide routes,” are the only notations to the map. 

A quad-jet whisks its way into the high atmosphere, the might of its propulsion sweeps up the landmasses themselves, with far Siberia pulled away from the surface of the planet. The very latitudes of the global are twisted into the vortex of the jetliner's contrail. 

Upon the surface of these landmasses, thick red lines spread outward from Northern Europe to five continents. At the outer limits of the first generation jetliner's range, an impressive OsloLos Angeles was achieved, and lasted for decades, which as mentioned yesterday only came back in March 2016. Montreal and New York (the latter via Glasgow, it seems) were the only other North American destinations.

South America was, somewhat incredibly, more thoroughly covered, with the system's Lisbon—Recife—Rio de JaneiroSao Paulo—Montevideo—Buenos Aires—Santiago service. Africa was also served with a classic east African spine, Rome—Athens—Cairo—Khartoum—Nairobi—Johannesburg. None of these South American or African cities are served today. 

In addition to a half-dozen Near Eastern cities, SAS operated a trans-Asian trunk route to rival those of other European aviation pioneers, with a scissors-base at Karachi linking to CalcuttaRangoonBangkok, which split to either Jakarta or onward to Manila—Tokyo, which swung northward to Anchorage to return to Copenhagen, here transgressing the print's nautilus-shell projection of the globe. 

Thursday, December 8, 2016

SAS: Intercontinental routes, 2003

Yesterday's post, with its many routes between Scandinavia at Thailand, relate to this polar-projection route map, showing the intercontinental routes of Scandinavian Airlines in 2003. A decade ago, those consisted of flights to the United States and East Asia, mostly from Copenhagen, although there were also StockholmChicago,  Stockholm—Newark, and Oslo—Newark flights.

Since the publication of this timetable, there have been a number of changes: Seattle was dropped in 2009 after 42 years of non-stop service, Bangkok followed in 2013, ending 60 years of service, and flights from Singapore are now operated only by Singapore Airlines. In their place, Shanghai was added to the network in 2012,  San Francisco flights started in 2013, and Stockholm—Hong Kong began in 2015

The expansion has continued rapidly in the past year: Stockholm—Los Angeles was relaunched in March 2016, a return to Southern California after three decades of absence, and two routes to Miami began in September 2016.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Thai Airways Route Table: Routes from Phuket and elsewhere, November 2016

As shown in the previous post from yesterday, the remarkable Route Table in the back of Thai Airways's in-flight magazine indexes every route of the airline. After listing all the routes out of Bangkok, the remainder is given over to flights from other airports.

While many are leisure routes direct from Phuket, namely Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Hong Kong and St ockholm, there is a direct trans-border hop from northern Chiang Mai to Kunming in neighboring Yunnan province, and a somewhat anachronistic link between Karachi and Muscat, recalling pan-Asian journeys of an earlier era.Likewise, the TaipeiSeoul route shows the vestiges of the decades when a handful of flag carriers operated across East Asia.

Equally fascinating are a pair of what might be categorized as religious routes: GayaVaranasi—Bangkok (these two cities premiering here on The Timetablist). These services clearly reflect the importance of Hindu pilgrimages to Thai's customer base. The closest examples to these types of operations would be Aer Lingus's pilgrimage operations of an earlier era, which are now almost entirely covered by charter operations. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Thai Airways Route Table: Routes from Bangkok, P-Z, November 2016

Continuing on from the previous series of posts, here is the second page of Thai Airways's Route Table in the back of its in-flight magazine. This post finishes tagging all the destinations from Bangkok, as nearby as Siem Reap (this post marking the premier of this destination on The Timetablist) and Vientiane, to as distant as Zürich, Rome and Stockholm. Note that both Haneda and Narita are present for Tokyo, and Xiamen is one of the mainland Chinese cities which have joined the network. 

Although Thai Airways is diminished from its previous glory days, because of the strength of Thailand as a leisure destination, it remains present in a number of secondary European gateways, as this route table shows. 

Thai Airways Route Table, M-P, November 2016

Continuing on from the last post, tagging Thai Airways's route table from last month in the back of its in-flight magazine with the destinations M-P. 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Thai Airways Route Table, G-M, November 2016

Continuing from the previous post, the full route schedule of Thai Airways is, somewhat remarkably, tables the entire route network of the airline in the back of its in-flight magazine. Here are tagged destinations G through M from Bangkok. Almost all are in Asia, except for London, Melbourne and Moscow

Thai Airways Route Table, A-G, November 2016

Echoing a post from earlier this week, Thai Airways has kept up its tradition of matrixing its entire route network in the back pages of its in-flight magazine. Details include the mileage, flight time, time zone, and even the local contact number. Comparing to the 2013 version, the increased number of Chinese cities, such as Changsha and Chongqing, is most obvious. 

The entire table will be covered in the following series of posts. 

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thai Airways: New Direct Route to Tehran, November 2016

Forwarding to today's Thai Airways: last month's edition of the Sawasdee inflight magazine featured this advert, announcing the airline's new flight non-stop to Tehran, four times per week. Somewhat unusually for an airline advertisement—very informative but rather old-school—is the inclusion of the weekly schedule in the bottom-left of the page, which is dominated by the gorgeous rose-tinted photo of the landmark Azadi Tower, the most recognizable symbol of the city. Like the gateway arch itself, the advertisement marks the opening up of Iran to new business, and this is surely only the beginning of new airline service to the country's capital. 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Thai Airways: The eastward route network, 2013

The right-hand side of the route network of Thai Airways International, another page from a 2013 edition of the flag carrier's Sawasdee inflight magazine, continuing from the previous post. Most connections from Bangkok, are unsurprising, with a number of cross-connections at Hong Kong and Seoul, although perhaps more interesting are the routes to Kunming and Chengdu in interior China. The inset shows domestic routes and the now-scrapped service to Los Angeles.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thai Airways: The International Routes, 2013

Like Garuda (not to mention Malaysia Airlines), Thai Airways International is still a going concern but is significantly smaller than it has been in the past. This table, from the back of Thai Airway's inflight magazine from 2013, illustrates the point. Information listing the airline's international services from Bangkok from R—Z, with Rome no longer a destination. A handful of secondary leisure routes are shown thereafter, such as CopenhagenPhuket and Stockholm—Phuket, and intra-Asian flights such as Hong KongSeoul and Hong Kong—Taipei, as well as the old Seoul—Los Angeles route which was removed from the schedule in 2015 after 35 years of service.

Also interesting here are the number of routes to tertiary Indian cities, specifically Varanasi and Gaya, presumably as pilgrimage sites. 

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Garuda Indonesia: The International Routes, 2016

Staying in Southeast Asia as we finish up the month, it recently came to the attention of the Timetablist editorial committee that Garuda Indonesia has never been featured here before. A remarkable oversight which is today corrected with the airline's present route map.

Although the Timetablist strives to exhibit only the finest and more informative examples of airline cartography from the present and the past, all that we have available today is this extraordinarily complicated route map  from the airline's website.

While we applaud an airline which still undertakes to provide an old-fashioned route map on a website in this day and age, and we note that the batik-print of the continental landmasses here is a nice touch, the over-representation of codeshare routes muddles the instructional value of this map.

Perhaps the excess is an attempt to match the flag carrier's former glory. Having once had a wider reach and grander ambitions, Garuda endured an ignominious period as an international aviation pariah, black-listed from European Union airports from 2007 until 2009, and forced to retreat from some of its flagship routes, particularly the prestigious Los Angeles service and the JakartaAmsterdam trunk route to its colonial metropole along with every other inch of European airspace.

As with so many flag carriers, the contemporary iteration of Garuda is a simpler, more streamlined version, serving far fewer cities, both it is immediate region and farther afield. The triumph of the airline's renaissance has been its return to Amsterdam Schiphol, and, more recently, the reintroduction of service to London Heathrow in March of this year. Of late, management has publicly affirmed its commitment to reconnect to LAX by next year.  

That the Garuda of today only serves two European cities is nearly impossible to decipher from this route map, which shows more cities in Europe, 21, than foreign destinations that Garuda actually operates anywhere.

In truth, Garuda flies to Jeddah and Medina, (as much for the labor migration of its citizens as for holy pilgramages) and otherwise just a bare handful of east Asian megacities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, and Hong Kong. Flights out of both Jakarta and Denpasar airport on Bali to the major Australian cities of Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney cater to both tourism and business.

That's it. That is the extent of Garuda Indonesia at present. The dozens of other cities on this map are superfluous, showing codeshares and even freighter routes. In this day and age, most travelers are at least vaguely aware that an international airline cooperates with other carriers to ferry passengers beyond it own network; it is therefore completely unhelpful to show Cairo, Nairobi, Barcelona and Bahrain here. An airline's route map would best be limited to the airline's own routes, to demonstrate the actual extent of an airline's operation.

As it is, strangely random information, such as showing both “Moscow” as well as “Sheremetyevo” obscure more interesting operations such as Garuda's Jakarta—Singapore—Amsterdam—Jakarta routing and its non-stop from Medan to Jeddah. As it is, the map gives a sense that Garuda is attempting to display the wide breadth of its former glory of decades past, to the detriment of a more informative graphic.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Royal Brunei Network, c.2013

Continuing from the last post, here is another Royal Brunei route map, from some time before the flag carrier's logo changed, de-emphasizing the open-palmed crest of the Sultanate in favor of the current, boring monogram. It's often fun when pictograms stand in for cities; those here by and large stay within the pedestrian and predictable—a beefeater for London, the Merlion of Singapore, the Petronas Towers for Kuala Lumpur, a camel ride for Dubaithe Oriental Pearl TV tower for Shanghai, the skyline of Central for Hong Kong, oranutangs for Kota Kinabalu—although probably less know is the symbol Surabaya, the statue depicting the legend of the shark fighting the crocodile. Also, its unclear how Melbourne is particularly associated with a hot air balloon. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Royal Brunei Airlines Routes, 2016

The Timetablist has featured Royal Brunei before—compare the above map, currently printed in this month's inflight magazine, with the 2011 version posted previously. This small airline of one of only two sovereign sultanates in all the world. The carrier has traditionally connected the tiny southeast Asian statelet, the only country whose territorial extent exists entirely on the island of Borneo, with the rest of east Asia, and has also long operated a route to London Heathrow via Dubai, which is today operated with the sleek B787. The non-stop flight to Jeddah is a somewhat more recent development. As recently as that last post, multiple cities in Australia were served, now the sole route is Melbourne. The inset shows some codeshare partnerships with Garuda, Thai, MAS and Turkish, although other than Istanbul, RB already flies to each destination shown. 

Thursday, November 24, 2016

EVA Air Network, c. 2010

Continuing to look at the airlines of Taiwan, here is straightforward route map of the Republic of China's secondary carrier, EVA Air, in its signature evergreen. From Taoyuan, long haul operations spread east and west, to Europe and North America; EVA was one of the earliest Asian carriers to land at Seattle and has long served Vancouver as well. (Houston has since been added). 
Amsterdam and Vienna are interesting European destinations, and are still served in an unusual routing via a minihub Bangkok—only Paris is served direct from the home airport. Other notable destinations include the sole antipodean city of Brisbane, and a number of secondary cities in Japan such as Fukuoka, as well as the OsakaLos Angeles supplementing its direct service from Taipei.

Notably absent from the map is any Mainland China service; EVA Air now flies to 17 cities in the PRC.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Fly China Airlines and explore Asia, 2015.

Continuing to look at China Airlines, this print advertisement from last year details the carrier's trans-Pacific schedule to North America. Below the lovely kaleidoscopic imagery, a table details the schedule and frequency of flights from five gateways to Taipei Taiyoun: Honolulu, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Vancouver. Up until 2008, China Airlines flew to Seattle as well. 

Sunday, November 20, 2016

China Airlines: Direct Flight Non-Stop from Rome to Taipei, November 2016


A back-lit billboard currently gracing the departures halls of Rome Fiumicino Airport, promoting China Airlines's hub at Taipei as a gateway to the "Extreme Orient" and Oceania. Although the dotted lines land on countries, not specific cities, there are a lot of options of the Italian traveler headed east, as CAL links to three cities in Australia, two in New Zealand, two in Malaysia, and a dozen in Japan. Indonesia and the Philippines are also served but are not shown on this advertisement's map. 

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Finnair: The Shortcut to 11 Cities in Asia, 2012

As our first post of the month featured an unusual route between easternmost Europe and China, this item which has been in our filebox for a few years seems most relevant. Finnair has over the last decade remade itself as a premier airline between Europe and Asia, especially China, avoiding competing on the trans-Atlantic competition, where its northeasternmost position was a disadvantage, and playing up the strength of Helsinki's near-polar location the long-haul routes follow flow across the continent efficiently. 

Finnair has had a lot of success with this strategy, even profiting from some of the world's more random long-haul routings from what is essentially a very small airport at Vantaa to cities such as Nagoya and Chongqing, which was the newest destination on this map. Since this magazine advert, Finnair has expanded into China further, reintroducing Guangzhou and adding Xi'an, as well as serve to Ho Chi Minh City, although Hanoi was less successful. Much of this service is also apparently seasonal. 

This advert's smooth whites and greys almost feel polar, positioning the globe in such a way that the 11 trans-Asian routes flow over its curvature. Its unclear exactly what the European routes are, as they are not labeled, but the concept of Helsinki as a transit hub is made quite clear. A single line tucks behind the planet, indicate Finnair's few North American routes, which currently consist of New York and Miami and seasonal service to Chicago, but will soon include San Francisco. Boston, Ft. Lauderdale, Seattle, Toronto and Montreal are among those cities that didn't work out. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

TAROM Romanian Airlines: Worldwide Routes, c.1974

Continuing to look at the global extent of the airlines of the Eastern Bloc at their height, this unique map shows the routes of TAROM, the Romanian state carrier spreading across four continents. 
There are plenty of routes within Europe, on both sides of the Iron Curtain, culminating in an interesting BucharestPragueAmsterdamNew York schedule as its sole operation across the Atlantic. This route may or may not have stopped in Gander—it is difficult to be certain as the cartography inconsistently marks destinations, with the red lines variously pass over or turn at a city without a marker, or break at a city on the map, or such breaks are marked by a circle around the underlying city.  

Several lines cross the Mediterranean to Algiers and Tripoli (possibly by way of Benghazi) in a similar vein to Czechoslovak Airlines. 


What is unquestionably the most notable aspect of the airline's operation occurs on the southeastern corner of the map: the long, winding tentacle reaching its way from Bucharest to Istanbul, then onward to Tehran and then reaching Karachi, where it elbow-bends along the Indus and over the Himalayas to reach Urumchi in Chinese Turkestan, where it continues across the vast People's Republic, where it seems to waystation at Hami, Yumen, and Taiyoun to finally terminate at Beijing

With just a little over 100,000 people live in tiny Yumen City, in Gansu province, which doesn't even boast an airport. While Hami, a small outpost in Xinjiang, has a regional airport, and Taiyoun's Wusu International is the principal airport of Shanxi Province, there are few international flights, and no European service, from these three cities. This trans-Socialist aviation envoy is surely a rarity in aviation history. 

Monday, October 31, 2016

Lufthansa: The Worldwide Network, Part 2: The Afro-South American System.

Continuing from the previous post, it is, as always, interesting to note the enormous number of African destinations that were once served by European airlines. Lufthansa flew to a great many more African cities than today, shown here in three trunk lines extending across the Mediterranean. In the east, a route to Khartoum turns at Addis Ababa to make its way to Entebbe, then on to Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, where the line splits to terminate at Mauritius or further south to Johannesburg, which meets the central trunk from Tunis—Tripoli to Accra, Lagos and then Kinshasa, shown cluster together in the Bight of Benin. Many of these sub-Saharan services have been presented on the Timetablist before.

In the Western Mediterranean, a third line passes again through North Africa and continues straight across Dakar towards South America. turning only slightly at Rio de Janeiro, plunging further to Sao Paulo—Montevideo—Buenos Aires and turning 90 degrees to finish to Santiago, which is also linked along the Andes to northernly American cities.

As it has so many times in the past, Timetablist would like to express its appreciation for Flickr user caribb (Doug from Montreal)'s incredible collection, and to say thanks  for allowing the reuse of these images under creative commons.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Lufthansa: The Worldwide Network, mid-1973


A recent post referenced the famous Lufthansa Spinnernetz Streckenatlas, which brought to our editorial attention that we had overlooked posting one of the more legendary graphics of Timetable History. Here is the 1973 version, courtesy of the perennially superb collection of Flickr user Caribb. 

As its base, the map is a unique, polar-focused pseudo-Azimuthal projection, showing all continents but with the Pacific meridians hooking back away from the globe's infinite edge into the north pole. The network itself is given an even more liberal representation, made up of just ten enormous trunk routes, intersecting at the center of the map over Germany (but, interestingly, not specifically mentioning any Deutsche Stadt).

Foreign and overseas destinations are listed in neat columns as these thick ribbons pass near to them: Singapore and Jakarta are skirted, not passed over, on the way to Sydney (Lufthansa left Australia decades ago). A single line from Philadelphia to Quito hits Nassau, Kingston and Bogota, meeting up with some sort of Europe–Caracas route before reaching the Andean way stations. A small offshoot links to Mexican destinations, including Monterrey and Merida, which are also of course no longer served.  The transpolar route from Germany to Anchorage makes right angle with Germany—Bangkok; a semi-circle of Hong KongOsaka(Itami)—Tokyo(Haneda)—Anchorage makes the grapefruit quarter.

Other images from caribb's Flickr stream show a fleet of DC-8s and 707s in heavy rotation, assisted by the brand-new B747s in the fleet. The next post will detail the African and South American Cone destinations.

As it has so many times in the past, Timetablist would like to express its appreciation for Flickr user caribb (Doug from Montreal)'s incredible collection, and to say thanks  for allowing the reuse of these images under creative commons.

Friday, October 28, 2016

ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines: The IL-62 Services, c.1970

A final item for ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines in its Soviet era: a route map specifically for its flagship IL-62 quadjet, which roared its way from Moscow to MontrealJFK to Jakarta. The precise date of the item is unknown but the carrier still operated its west African route, although here it is curiously shown as stopping in Rabat instead of Casablanca on its PragueAlgiersDakarFreetown schedule. The trans-Asian service is by now familiar, stopping in Athens, then splitting between Tehran and CairoKuwait before scissoring at Bombay to link Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Jakarta

The three transatlantic cities are shown as well, with Brussels and Amsterdam as way stations to North America. The superjet also whisked apparatchiks domestically, the only IL-62 service from Bratislava was back to Prague. 

Thursday, October 27, 2016

ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines Route Map, 1982

Keeping with the history of Czechoslovak Airlines, we return to the amazing album of  Flickr user Caribb's incredible collection, this photo showing the route map of ČSA in a similar arrangement to the previous set of posts.

While still a pinwheel arrangement with Prague as its central hub, the network appears on a red field rather than concentric orbs. Long-haul routes are sparser than the previous decade: IL-62s still cross the Atlantic to New York, Montreal, Havana, (the timetable of which we covered years ago in an early post) and there are still trans-Asia flights reaching to Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore via Bombay or through Athens are all the same, but Ho Chi Minh City and Jakarta are out.

The KuwaitAbu Dhabi schedule operates via Cairo. North Africa still well represented with Algiers, Casablanca, and TunisTripoli.

One of the other shots Caribb has in his online gallery is a plan of the IL-62, which curiously show smoking and non-smoking sections adjacent to each other for the entire length of the cabin.

Bratislava again appears in the upper-right, with a few Eastern bloc international connections and domestic routes in dark ink.

As it has so many times in the past, Timetablist would like to express its appreciation for Flickr user caribb (Doug from Montreal)'s incredible collection, and to say thanks  for allowing the reuse of these images under creative commons.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines Route Map, c.1975: Detail of the Bratislava Hub

Continuing to view the details of the Czechoslovak Airlines route map from the 1970s, the upper-right of the pinwheel shows the airline's secondary operation at Bratislava, the Slovak capital. Prague dominated not only the "OK Network" but also nearly every other aspect of Czechoslovak public sphere, yet the expansive ČSA system granted Bratislava with an interesting variety of connections: to nearby Poprad-Tatry, via Bourgas, and a half dozen other Eastern Bloc capitals. Also Beirut and  Kuwait, rather randomly.

Cartographically, what's curious is that these destinations were all printed a second time to show a shower of routes springing forth from Bratislava. Kuwait, SofiaBucharest and Beirut are all served from Prague and shown elsewhere on the map, although more at 5 o'clock which might have made the graphics a bit convoluted. Stranger are Moscow, Kiev, and Leningrad, whose links to Prague are directly adjacent to the Bratislava point, as seen here.

Warsaw and Berlin-Helsinki (here weirdly rendered as Helsink) are at high noon, from Prague.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

ČSA Czeckoslovak Airlines Route Map, 1975: Detail of European Routes

A bit more detail on this Czechoslovak Airlines pinwheel from sometime around 1975. Looking at the inner circle, we see Prague connected to a number of European cities of both east and west, from Bucharest to Brussels to Barcelona. Tunis and Malta are looped together (as Emirates does today) and Algiers is shown as a southwestern outliner. 

See the previous post for an overview, and details of the long-haul routes. The next post will also show some detail of the upper-right side of the cartogram.

Monday, October 24, 2016

ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines Route Map, c.1975

In the hundreds of Timetablist posts in almost seven years, there have been few works of such cartographic styling as original and dynamic as this Czechoslovak Airlines route map from some time in the mid-1970s. It's pinwheel arrangement and radial design partly recall the famous Lufthansa Streckenatlas from the 1970s, and its disregard for distance recalls a contemporary Thai Airways route map. As this magnificent bullseye covers the entire globe, it will be discussed through a series of posts.

Radiating out from Prague with dissipating intensity, a pattern of straight-line routes connect four continents. Cities are arranged roughly by cardinal direction, but great liberties are taken with specific location. The innermost, darkest ring covers central Europe, while a robins-egg disc demarcates the edges of Eurasia, from London to Larnaca. The faintest, outer orb, bulging at the middle in an almost hyper-elliptical projection, is even less rigidly adherent to true geography, with Dubai, Jakarta and Montreal equidistant. 

What is perhaps most fascinating in terms of aviation history is the extraordinary extent of CSA's global reach, from Havana to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

There was a major waystation in Bombay,connecting directly from Prague and via Athens, Damascus, Larnaca and Beirut, with onward services to Jakarta, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Singapore. Kuwait and Abu Dhabi have a dedicated service from Prague, shown at sharp 3 o'clock. Note that the Cairo-Dubai operation is shown at 5 o'clock, for an extreme example of geometry over geolocation.

What is rather staggering to consider is that just one of these cities is served by Czech Airlines today.  CSA has no transatlantic routes, and flies no further than Dubai in Asia. While the late Iron-bloc regime in Prague may have had geopolitical agendas for such an expansive operation, it is still astonishing that a larger, wealthier home base can no longer support such a wide variety of long-haul services.

Friday, October 14, 2016

ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines: the African Routes, c.1970

Quite similar to the last post, this later iteration of the Czechoslovak route network is equally dense but a bit clearer. Dozens of routes fan out from Prague, across Europe, North Africa and onward to Asia and the Americas. Another web spins out from Bratislava, but these are confined to Europe. 
Geneva looks to be bypassed on the way to Casablanca, from whence the flight continues to Dakar, then apparently just to Freetown, although confusingly Conakry is shown as a dot on the route line, it's lowercase suggests it might not have been a pit stop. Additionally, dashed lines show what are likely some sort of connecting services, linking Dakar to Bamako and Freetown to Abidjan, Accra, and Lagos

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines: The African Routes, 1968

Fast-forwarding nearly half a century from the last post, but still considering the long history of
ČSA Czechoslovak Airlines. Here is the carrier at its zenith, a four-continent flag carrier hoisting the socialist banner aloft across the globe. This detail from a route map, from about 1968, shows a dense network fanning out from Prague. While much of the quintessential cities of the earliest route spine remain: Belgrade, Zagreb, Warsaw, Budapest, and many more routes radiate outward from Central Europe. The red lines around Vienna and Bratislava are quite dense, clustering at Athens to continue into Asia.

Across the Mediterranean, there are non-stop flights from Ruznye to Algiers and TunisTripoli. Further east, several lines seem to spread out from Geneva, one of which continues southward to Casablanca and then onward to Dakar and Freetown. In a clear echo of Interflug's West African service featured here last month, it seems the post-colonial promises of realignment prompted a Pan-African operation from Prague. Somewhat confusingly, Monrovia, Liberia, is marked in a red circle, but the routing does not connect it. Perhaps a typo? Perhaps meant to indicate Conakry

Monday, October 10, 2016

Czechoslovak State Airline Network, 1932

Recent posts from the Eastern Bloc and the Elbe Valley remind us for this ancient item. From our records, this may be the oldest article ever featured on the Timetablist. A 1932 flight plan for the Czechoslovak State Airline, the earliest ancestor of CSA, in one of its first years of operation.

Several spider webs of spindly routes spread outward over the toast-brown landscape, from the main base at Prague, but also Vienna, Munich, Berlin, Warsaw and Venice. It's possible that the airline's own operations were merely those marked by the thicker line: Karlovy Vary—PragueBrnoBratislavaZagreb and Bratislava—KošiceClujBucharest. A dozen other secondary cities are shown, it's unclear who, in these early days of aviation, was operating these routes. 

What looks to almost certainly be a Ford Tri-Motor tilts its way over Trieste in a tangerine dawn. Czechoslovak Air is listed as an operator on the craft's Wikipedia page

Sadly, this aviation pioneer was short-lived, as the Sudetenland annexation was barely eight years away from the publication of this literature. CSA would be resurrected in the post-war era, as we shall see in the following posts. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Tunisair: The Routes from Germany, Summer 2015

Last month turned into quite a curation of Germanic aviation, and the Timetablist archives still yield a few more items along the same theme to start this month.

Tunisair published this table in the summer of 2015 specifically for its German-speaking and German-located customers. The chart details the Tunisian flag carrier's array of services from multiple German gateways to multiple destinations in Tunisia. The flights were operated with narrow-bodied B737s and A320s (which is all Tunisair had up until recently). Most flights to Tunisia were to the capital, Tunis, and most were originating from Frankfurt, with a daily flight in each direction. There were also frequent series from Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Munich and Berlin Schönefeld to Tunis, Enfidha and Djerba–the latter two airports, gateways to the famed Mediterranean beaches of Tunisia, mostly connected on weekend leisure schedules. This post is the first time that Enfidha has been featured on the Timetablist.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Air France CityJet: Fly Direct from Dresden to the Heart of London, August 2013.

The Interflug posts earlier this week made mention of Dresden, at the time one of East Germany's secondary industrial areas, and one of all of Germany's most beautiful cities. 

Today, its airport is quite small, and generally has more leisure services to the Mediterranean than to the commercial capitals of Europe. For a brief time, CityJet, operating a wet-lease commuter operation on behalf of Air France, operated a London City Airport service on a BAe146. Sadly the service did not last. 

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Interflug: Winter Timetable, 1975-76, Part 2

Continuing from the last post, more facsimile fun from the back pages of the Interflug timetable for November 1975 to March 1976. Everything is out of Berlin in this case, and what might be most remarkable are the infrequency of services: barely more than once per day to next door Warsaw, and about four times per week Bucharest and the Yugoslav run to ZagrebBelgrade as well as Sofia, with once per week to the Black Sea resort town of Varna. On top, the Czechoslovak services show some variety, especially fun is the once weekly Tu-134 landing at the Carpathian ski resort of Poprad-Tatry, a premier feature on the Timetablist. 

Further down the sheet is the long, once-weekly pan Asia flight to North Vietnam via Moscow, Tashkent, Karachi and Dhaka. At lower left is the now well-known Berlin—AlgiersBamakoFreetownConakry twice weekly operations, and at the grand finale is the twice-weekly hop over the Iron Curtain, northward to Helsinki.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Interflug Timetable, Winter 1975-76, Part 1

The unscheduled discovery of this Interflug memorial website has gotten us sidetracked in reviewing its treasures. This post celebrates the first half of a photocopy-palletted schedule from November 1975 to March 1976 for routes within Europe and the Middle East, as well as the single transatlantic route, the historically curious twice-weekly BerlinGanderHavana service, which probably didn't ferry the freezing Newfoundlanders to sunny Cuba on the way. 

Other flights follow from previously-posted material of earlier years: one of the Iron Curtain spines in the latticework, the BerlinLeipzigErfurtBudapestTirana operation is shown at top, and below it one-off flights to the free world: Milan, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Vienna. Shown below is the all-important to Moscow and Leningrad. The largest box shows four weekly operations to the Near East: to Cairo, to Beirut, and DamascusBaghdad

The next post shows the remaining pages of the schedule.