The Deutsche Afrika-Linien is a German shipping company, based in Hamburg. The company operates container and general cargo services between Europe, the Canary Islands, eastern and southern Africa, and Indian Ocean ports. Gas and chemical tankers are operated under the name Essberger Tankers. In addition, the group offers logistics and insurance services, as well as the travel agency ‘Hammonia Travel’.
It was founded in Hamburg in 1924 as the Essberger-Tankschiffreederei, by the John Theodor Essberger (1886–1959). Essberger was British-born but had become a naturalised German citizen before 1914. He commanded torpedo-boats during the First World War and was named ‘Leader of German shipping’ during the Third Reich.
In 1942 Essberger took over the Woermann-Linie and Deutsche Ost-Afrika Linie from the cigarette manufacturer Philipp Fürchtegott Reemtsma. After the war, the fleet was dispossessed. However, Essberger soon built up a new fleet and became once again one of the largest private shipowners in West Germany.
After Essberger’s death in 1959, the company was taken over by his daughter, Liselotte von Rantzau-Essberger (1918–1993). Just before the oil crisis of 1973, the company placed an order for two new large tankers. The new ships were launched in 1975 at Geltinger Bay and later sold at a considerable loss. In the 1980s, Liselotte’s sons Dr. Eberhart von Rantzau and Heinrich von Rantzau took charge of the company. Following a close partnership with Safmarine for many decades, Deutsche Afrika-Linien and Safmarine decided to form a long term alliance called the Safmarine / DAL Joint Venture (SAFDAL) in 1997 to represent their commercial interests in the Southern Africa Europe Container Service (SAECS). Since then, the business has expanded slowly, but steadily and has expanded into chemical tanker transport.
Today, the fleet of DAL/John T. Essberger has 34 dry cargo ships and tankers.
Tata Airlines was founded by Jehangir Ratanji Dadabhoy Tata (1904–1993) as Tata Airlines in 1932. Tata himself flew its first single-engine de Havilland Puss Moth, carrying air mail from Karachi to Bombay’s Juhu aerodrome and later continuing to Madras (currently Chennai).
The airline launched its first domestic flight from Bombay to Trivandrum with a six-seater Miles Merlin. Colombo in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Delhi were added to the destinations in 1938. During the Second World War, the airline helped the Royal Air Force with troop movements, shipping of supplies, rescue of refugees and maintenance of aircraft
After World War II, it became a public limited company and was renamed as Air India.
On 15 October 1932, Tata flew a Puss Moth carrying airmail from Karachi to Bombay and the aircraft continued to Madras piloted by Nevill Vintcent, a former Royal Air Force pilot and friend of Tata.
The airline fleet consisted of a Puss Moth aircraft and a de Havilland Leopard Moth. Initial service included weekly airmail service between Karachi and Madras via Ahmedabad and Bombay. In its first year of operation, the airline flew 9.72 tonnes (10.71 tons) of mail.
TAP (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses) Air Portugal is the flag carrier airline of Portugal, headquartered at Lisbon Airport which also serves as its hub. The airline, founded on 14 March 1945 began commercial services on 19 September 1946, with a flight from Lisbon to Madrid using a Douglas DC-3. On 31 December, TAP Air Portugal began its Linha Aérea Imperial, a twelve-stop colonial service including Luanda, Angola and Lourenço Marques (now Maputo), Mozambique.
Rhodesia’s Unilateral Declaration of Independence on 11 November 1965 and the subsequent imposition of sanctions imposed by Britain and independent African states, closed down almost all international flights operating through Rhodesia, with the exception of TAP and South African Airways.
In June 2015 the company was semi-privatised and became majority-owned by the Atlantic Gateway Consortium. The deal has been surrounded in controversy because it was completed at the end of the center-right government’s mandate with wide opposition from TAP employees. On October 2015, a new left-wing government has sought to return majority control of the airline to the state.
British Caledonian was a private, British independent airline, operating out of Gatwick Airport in south-east England during the 1970s and 1980s. It was created as an alternative to the British government-controlled corporation airlines. It was formed by the UK’s second-largest, independent charter airline Caledonian Airways, taking over British United Airways (BUA), then the largest British independent airline and the United Kingdom’s leading independent scheduled carrier.
The BUA takeover enabled Caledonian to realise its long-held ambition to transform itself into a scheduled airline. The merged entity eventually became the UK’s foremost independent, international scheduled airline.
A series of major financial setbacks during the mid-1980s combined with the airline’s inability to grow sufficiently to reach a viable size put the airline at serious risk of collapse. British Caledonian began looking for a merger partner to improve its competitive position.
In December 1987, British Airways (BA) gained control of the airline. The Caledonian name and livery was then used to rebrand BA’s Gatwick-based subsidiary British Airtours as Caledonian Airways.
The Societé Anonyme Belge d’Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne (Belgian Corporation for Air Navigation Services) is better known internationally by the acronym SABENA, was the national airline of Belgium from 1923 to 2001, with its base at Brussels National Airport.
In the 1960’s, SABENA was mainland Europe’s first airline to operate a jet across the Atlantic. Six Caravelle jetliners were introduced on all medium-haul routes in Europe from February 1961.
The beginning of the 1960s saw a major upheaval for Sabena in the Congo. Widespread rioting against Belgian colonials in the months leading up to, and after the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, caused thousands of Belgians to flee the country. The Belgian government commandeered Sabena’s entire long haul fleet to get the refugees back to Europe. Independence also meant the end of the impressive regional network of routes that the airline had built up in the Congo since 1924. When the new republic began its own airline, Air Congo, in June 1961, Sabena held 30 percent of that airline’s shares.
After its bankruptcy in 2001, the newly formed SN Brussels Airlines took over part of Sabena’s assets in February 2002, which became Brussels Airlines after a merger with Virgin Express in March 2007. The airline’s corporate headquarters were located in the Sabena House on the grounds of Brussels Airport in Zaventem.