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.