The crash of an Air France jet into the Atlantic this morning is, of course, a terrible tragedy for all involved. However, the passenger list provides an interesting view of travel today.
Back when explorers were like astronauts, heading out into the complete unknown in tiny ships, they gathered their crews from wherever they could get them. They were often a polyglot collection of old salts from around the known world. But each voyage was special, an event.
Today’s flight was just an everyday occurrence, something that happens on a regular schedule. Nothing special. And yet the collection of passengers’ nationalities included nearly every continent. There were two Americans, an Argentinean, an Austrian, a Belgian, 58 Brazilians, five British, a Canadian, nine Chinese, a Croatian, a Dane, a Dutch, an Estonian, a Filipino, 61 French, a Gambian, 26 Germans, four Hungarians, three Irish, one Icelandic, nine Italians, five Lebanese, two Moroccans, three Norwegians, two Polish, one Romanian, one Russian, three Slovakian, two Spanish, one Swedish, six Swiss and one Turk.
The global village meme is ever more true.