WORTH A SECOND GLANCE
By Leonardo Pinzauti
postcard above shows Nagoya/Kpmaki airport, Japan in the first weeks of
operation. Two aircraft are parked and a medium sized hangar with a
half-cylindrical roof is in the background. The
card was produced by a publisher named ALPS. Like most Japanese issues the card
is sharp and well printed with brilliant colours. It is a good and unusual card
but also poses several questions.
Dating is relatively easy. It must have been taken in 1965 between the
airport opening in May and September of that year when All Nippon Airways sold
Convair 440 JA5053 (shortened to 53 on the nose).
ANA used the CV440 on daily flights to Tokyo and Osaka. The other Convair
is more mysterious. It appears to be JA5068. If so,
it would be one of the four CV240 s that North Japan Airlines bought in
1961. They had commenced operations in 1953 as an air taxi operator and moved up
to a DC-3 in 1955, commencing scheduled service in 1957. Their network linked
Sapporo, capital of Hokkaido, the northernmost Japanese island, with three
destinations on the same island, Hakodate in the south, Kushiro and Obihiro in
the North-east. By 1962 the network was extended south to Akita on the main
island of Honshu to connect with All Nippon or rail to Tokyo.
In 1964 North Japan merged with Fuji and Notto to form Japan Domestic
Airways, forerunner of TOA Domestic, then Japan Air System and now merged
BUT – Japanese
translators who have been shown the card say that the ideograms on the CV-240
and the hangar roof both convert to “Central Japan Airways” (Chiu Nippon
Koku) , about which little can be found. In the early 60s it connected Osaka
with other cities on Honshu, including Nagoya. They
were absorbed by All Nippon in February 1965,
before the likely date of the card. So was Central Japan leasing from North
Japan and was the name still in use after the All Nippon takeover ?
is clear is that whatever was the case for the Convair the Central Japan name
lived on, on the hangar roof for
around another 20 years. The second card, an aerial view, shows it co-existing
with a Korean 747-400, Thai A.300 JAL 767 and DC-10 and Cathay Tristar which
puts it in the 1980s at least.