Air India, Pink Elephants Drinks Menu 1967
This charming artwork featuring pink elephants and an elaborately moustachioed Indian gentleman was the front cover of the drinks and cigarettes list aboard an Air India flight in 1967.
It was part of a package handed to passengers in the first-class cabin as they settled themselves on the ‘jet carpet’ (a fleet of Boeing 707s) that flew from Bombay, Delhi, Calcutta and Madras to points across the world, including New York, Nairobi and London.
The package also included writing paper, postcards and envelopes, a witty booklet acting as guide to a passenger’s first time in India, a colorful Please Do Not Disturb sign to put on your headrest, a form addressed to Air India’s General Manager for any suggestions or criticisms a passenger may wish to make and a route map that also gave useful information such as time differentials, currency rates and local telephone numbers.
This was the era when smoking was still allowed in planes and there was a leaflet to cover this too. ‘You are kindly requested not to use cigarette lighters with a built-in reservoir for liquid fuel, as these constitute a serious fire hazard at altitude. If you are in any doubt, please consult your flight purser.’ Hard to imagine this now!
‘We hope, Dear Passenger, that our service provides everything you need to make your journey a happy and memorable experience,’ said the menu which was printed in Bombay, India.
Today Air India, founded as Tata Airlines in 1932, flies to over 60 international destinations across five continents. The airline’s mascot is the Maharajah ( Emperor) and its logo is a flying swan with one of the wheels of the Sun Temple of Konark inside it.
Each order includes a print of the interior menu.
All printed in USA.