Timetables themselves are another subject for the interest of collectors. There is one big difference – as opposed to other items timetables are very easy to get. Just walk around an airport terminal, stop by at airlines´ desks and you can get a couple of them free of charge. In this field there is no place for a commercial approach. Timetables were used from the beginning of aviation, earlier they were published by newspapers, magazines, etc., and with the air traffic expanding and airlines growing they have become separate booklets.
Timetables have a special format and form. Usually they are including a list of all flight connections, destinations, and also helpful information for travelers, e.g. the addresses of local offices, contractual partners around the world, the scheme of connections, fleets used by airlines, seat capacity, frequent flyer programs, maps of main airports, etc. A timetable with such a scope is called main, has special dimensions 9 -11 cm x 19 -22 cm (it can be inserted into the breast pocket) and it is printed on thin paper because the number of pages may be 300 to 500.
The next group may be called regional timetables. They are focused on large regions, e.g. Eastern Europe, countries only, e.g. the Czech Republic, and cities, e.g. Prague. The scope of this type is not as large, because they are complete only for a town, country or region. For example the Lufthansa timetable for Prague is including all connections between Prague and all destinations of Lufthansa, but you could not find there other Lufthansa flights. Between regional timetables there are as well differences in extent. While some airlines have large ones like a main timetable, the others may have a business card size, describing only one flight.The third category belongs to service timetables that exist only for the airlines´ internal use. Here we can find more details about the flights important for the crew.
The entire world timetable called OAG includes regular flights from the whole world. The extent of these books corresponds to the famous “Yellow pages”, with more than 4000 pages. They are made for travel agencies selling flight tickets. Because of the size and the monthly frequency OAG decided to distribute its timetable in electronic form on CD ROM, via the reservation and information systems. The advantage is an easy update by request.
The frequency of timetables is usually twice a year – twice in winter and twice in summer. As we said there are many airlines around the whole world starting up and being established and on the other hand ceasing to function, and all of them are publishing timetables and for collectors it is almost impossible to have one copy from each airline. This branch of collecting is definitely very important because it can help us to evidence the rise and disappearance of airlines and changes in their development for coming generations.