Global networks before globalisation: imperial airways and the development of long-haul air routes

2009-05-18T13:13:11Z (GMT) by Lucy C.S. Budd
From its formation in 1924 to its takeover in 1940, Britain's Imperial Airways forged a network of longdistance air routes around the world that knitted the British Empire together by air for the first time and paved the way for a new age of aeromobility. While transport historians have long recognised the importance of these early services to the administration of Empire and the future development of international civil aviation, the unique spatialities of Imperial Airways' services have received scant geographical attention. By charting the expansion of Imperial's international route network in the 1920s and 1930s, this paper provides an insight into the formation and operation of a global aerial network that helped usher in a new era of globalisation.