Today in Postal History


French Morocco to Argentina
February 29, 1928

This interesting air mail cover was sent from Fez-Ville-Nouvelle - the
French city in the Moroccan city of Fez.  Fez (or Fes) is
about 210 km south southeast of Tangier in the Atlas Mountains.  

This cover joined the first airmail service between France and Argentina at Casa Blanca.
Air service between Europe and in north and west Africa
had been pioneered by Lignes Aéiennes Latécoère starting
with service from France to Casa Blanca September 1, 1919.  

By June 1, 1925, the North African routes had been extended to
Dakar and the company had become Compagnie Général d'Enterprises Aéronautiques (C.G.E.A.).
It evolved to Aéropostale.
Its next goal was to expand service to South America from Europe.
It began by establishing service along the Atlantic coast
of South America from Natal to Argentina in 1927.  
To complete its route from Europe to South America it used
obsolete French destroyers to carry the mail between St. Louis, Senegal, and Natal, Brazil.

This route was inaugurated March 1, 1928.
Although this route was expected to take only eight days
(5 days were allotted to the destroyer shuttle across the Atlantic),
the Buenos Aires receivers are dated March 17.
(It is possible however, that these markings are associated with
the RETOUR A L'ENVOYEUR - return to sender - marking.)
The reverse shows a CDS return to Fez-Ville-Nouvelle on April 28.
There is also what appears to be a Casa Blanca transit stamp on the reverse.
The date is unreadable so it unknown whether it was on the outgoing or return leg.

The blue crayon marks on the front and reverse are associated with registry services.  

The cover is franked with contemporary air and regular issues.
The 1923-27 regular issue is represented by Scott 109 and 110.
The first airmails of 1922-27 provided Scott C1, C2, C3, C7, C8, C10, and C11.
Total postage = 9 Fr.  

At least 9Fr. provided registered service.
There is a registration label numbered 472 with two straightline stamps of Fez-Ville-Nouvelle.  

The envelope is also interesting.  It is designed to advertise
the use of the associated north African airlines.  The slogans seem to translate as follows:

envoyez vos lettres par avion
vous gagnerez du temps
et ferez oeuvre utile
send your letters by air
save time
and do useful work
pour les taxes:
se renseigner
dans les bureaux de poste
for stamps
in post offices
Ligne France - Maroc
departs tous le jour = departures every day

The rate table (Taxes Royales):

up to 10 gr.                      1Fr. 50cent
from 10 gr. to 20 gr.          2Fr. 00 cent
from 20 gr. to 30 gr.          2Fr. 75 cent
from 30 gr. to 40 gr.           4Fr. 00 cent


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