Night flight / Vol de Nuit

This is a very very short story!

Toulouse and aviation are intrinsically linked. You may know it as the home of Airbus but Toulouse and aviation have a much longer story.

Pierre Georges Latécoère once envisioned an air route connecting France to the French colonies in Africa and South America. They specialised in airborne postal services. Some years later he sold his business to another Brazilian based French businessman named Lafont, who then created Aéropostale. On Christmas Day 1918 the company started the first service: Toulouse – Barcelona. The company expanded, eventually flying all the way to Tierra del Fuego in the south of Chile. After many mergers came the creation of Air France. Antoine de St Exupéry, author of the Little Prince was also a pilot for Aeroposta Argentina. This experience inspired his work : vol de nuit “ night flight”.

If you visit Toulouse visit Aeroscopia Museum and l’Envol des Pionniers, for the complete story of French aviation.

Vol de nuit

Latacoère’s first flight was from Toulouse to Barcelona. It is now considered to be such a short distance that we should complete it by train, or car. When I was a flight attendant, as they say in America, a night flight was both the easiest and hardest flight to work. People, most people, were sleeping so the flights were quiet. Then came the hard part, staying awake.

The advances in aircraft efficiency have been remarkable. You can now fly direct from New York to Singapore, 9527 miles, which is 15332 kilometres. Imagine that with a mask! Since Covid and because of war in the Ukraine, this route would cost you a lot of money. The prices in economy class are now not far from what they were in business class a few years ago. In spite of the rising cost of everything our desire to travel hasn’t actually diminished. There is the hassle factor, paperwork and tests etc. but the real question is do you want to get Covid in another country? Obviously nobody wants to get sick anywhere but it seems that it would be easier to deal with at home.

I am both an eternal optimist and an avid traveller. I believe that we are past the worst and hope that we have all become accustomed to washing our hands very regularly and staying a little farther apart. Travelling looks set to be a little more expensive than it was but perhaps it was too ‘cheap’. Plan your travel wisely and visit the Pink City, we miss you.

I hope that you have enjoyed this short post about the origins of flying and that you forgive me for my very infrequent posting as of late. I have been busy with my other passion, illustrating.

Follow me to keep up with me on travels around beautiful Occitanie………à bientôt Christina.


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