A small very nice opalex glass ashtray for TAI measuring 4 1/4" in diameter. T.A.I. (Transports Aériens Intercontinentaux) was a private French airline, based at Orly Airport, Paris. In 1963, it was merged with Union Aéromaritime de Transport on 1 October 1963 to form UTA French Airlines. During the early 1950s, its routes were Paris - Tunis - Damascus - Karachi - Bangkok - Saigon - Hanoi, Paris - Algiers - Fort Lamy (now N'Djamena) - Douala - Brazzaville - Tananarive (Antananarivo), Paris - Casablanca - Bamako - Abidjan, and Paris - Casablanca - Bamako - Dakar. As the decade progressed these routes were extended - in 1957 the route continued on from Saigon to Darwin, Brisbane, Noumea, and Auckland. As the airport for Tahiti began construction, T.A.I. began to fly to Bora Bora on the Society Islands in French Polynesia in 1958. Until the Tahiti airport opened, the island was served by TAI Short Solent flying boats. During the late 1950s, the airline was flying Sud-Est Armagnac, Douglas DC-4s and Douglas DC-6s, which wore an attractive light green livery with white cabin top and fin. They bought their first Douglas DC-8 jet airliners during 1960. The company then extended its service to Jakarta in Indonesia. The livery changed to an attractive yellow, green, and black striped tail with "T.A.I." on it, and a green stripe down the fuselage.
At Molloy's of Milford Antiques Centre, Auckland, New Zealand
Specialists in Pacific Islands Items, Victoriana, And a Fascinating Range of General Collectibles