Editor's note: The following is the second of a three-part Coin
World series about collecting paper money featuring airports,
airplanes and other forms of air travel, prepared by Michele Orzano
for the December 2014 monthly edition of Coin World.
Read other posts in the series:
This island nation issued $5 notes in 1995 with the back design
showing a “bird’s eye” view of the Nadi International Airport. It’s
the main international airport for the South Pacific island of Fiji.
The original airfields were built in 1939 and 1940 while Fiji was a
colony of Great Britain. In 1941 the U.S. Army Air Force used the
airfields when the nations in the Pacific Ocean became involved in
World War II.
The romance of good story might have been the impetus of the design
for the 1993 French 50-franc notes.
The notes depict a portrait of author Antoine de Saint-Exupery who
wrote The Little Prince. The back design shows Saint-Exupery’s
Breguet XIV biplane.
Drafted into the French air force after World War I, Saint-Exupery
told of life as a mail pilot in a series of books. He was probably
shot down, though officially listed as lost, on a reconnaissance
mission over the Mediterranean, flying for the Free French in 1940.
An error variety is known for this note. About one-fifth of the
notes have an accent above the “E” in “Exupery.” None is needed there.
The error was caught and fixed, though not before some error versions
were released into circulation.
The back design for Hong Kong’s $500 notes issued in 2003 shows an
airborne view of the Hong Kong Airport, along with a vignette of the
control tower and the tail of a jetliner.
The back of the $500 notes issued in 2005 shows the Hong Kong
Airport terminal and a portion of the runway.
A vignette of the Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
occupies much of the back of the 1993 50,000-rupiah notes of Indonesia.
The airport, located on the island of Java, is named after the first
president of Indonesia, Soekarno. His name is often also spelled as Sukarno.
Like many Javanese, he had only one name. The second part of the
hyphenated airport name is the last name of Indonesia’s first vice
president, Mohammad Hatta.
The 1980 Kenya 50-shilling notes depict an airplane flying over Jomo
Kenyatta Airport on the back of the note.
The airport is located just outside of Nairobi and is the ninth
busiest airport in Africa. It serves Africa, Europe, Asia and the
It was named for the first Kenyan prime minister and president, Mzee
Jomo Kenyatta, after his death in 1978.
In 1997 Lithuania issued 10-lita notes featuring a double portrait
of pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girenas.
They are regarded as national heroes of Lithuania for their 1933
long-distance flight from New York to Europe. They intended to land at
Vilnius, but they crashed off course over Germany.
The back of the note depicts their plane.
Airports and airplanes are depicted together on some bank notes. For
example, the 1993 Malawi 20-kwacha notes show a large passenger jet on
the ground at Kamuzu International Airport, also known as the Lilongwe
International Airport. Lilongwe is the capital of Malawi.
The 1997 Malaysia 10-ringgit notes depict a modern passenger train,
a passenger jet airliner and a freighter ship on the back. Another
example of “sky” travel can be found on the country’s 1996 2-ringgit
notes, which show a modern tower, possibly an airport control tower,
and a communications satellite.
The face of 1970 Netherlands Antilles 2½-gulden notes depicts a
large jetliner, possibly flying above the many islands of this former
Caribbean country. If you look closely you can read the name of the
former ALM Antillean Airlines on the side of the plane. The company
was in business from 1964 to 2001.
During the 17th century the Dutch colonized a series of islands in
the southern Caribbean Sea and united them as the Netherlands Antilles
The Netherlands Antilles consisted of two island groups — Aruba,
Bonaire and Curacao and Sint Maarten, Saba and Sint Eustatius.
In 1986 Aruba became a special state in the Kingdom of Netherlands.
Then in 2010, Netherlands dissolved the Netherlands Antilles.
Curacao and Sint Maarten were reconstituted as independent
countries. Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba became special
municipalities within Netherlands.
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