Lightbug From United States of America, joined Aug 2010, 73 posts, RR: 0 Posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7587 times:
Most of these are givaways as they are specific and represent countries or specific territories. But then there are some that I can only scratch my head about. Airline names like Delta or Mesaba, Ethiad or EL AL. What does this all mean? I'm sure there are many others, but it would be interesting to learn more about how these came in to place.
Strange airline names and the background for these are very welcome.
azjubilee From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 3629 posts, RR: 29 Reply 6, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7517 times:
To build on the meaning of Mesaba... it gets its origins from Ojibwa but also the company started in north central MN, in Grand Rapids which is on/near the Mesabi iron range. I've also read another translation means "Faithful friend, giant of the skies."
rampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3015 posts, RR: 7 Reply 8, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7491 times:
Quoting azjubilee (Reply 6): I've also read another translation means "Faithful friend, giant of the skies."
Found it, and you are very close. In Native American Place Names by William Bright, "mesaaba" is Ojibwa (Algonquin) meaning "giant". I think the airline is first named for the location in Minnesota, secondarily for the translation.
steex From United States of America, joined Jun 2007, 1536 posts, RR: 9 Reply 14, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7448 times:
Quoting rampart (Reply 8): Found it, and you are very close. In Native American Place Names by William Bright, "mesaaba" is Ojibwa (Algonquin) meaning "giant". I think the airline is first named for the location in Minnesota, secondarily for the translation.
The following is a quote taken directly from the Mesaba website:
July 4th - Gordy Newstrom founds Mesaba Airlines in Coleraine, Minn. Takes name from American Indian word for “soaring eagle.”
Mesaba has one plane, purchased for $1,300 and used to shuttle employees of the Blandin Paper Company from Grand Rapids, Minn., to the Twin Cities.
- LAN Chile used to stand for Línea Aérea Nacional de Chile (Chile's National Airline). Nowadays, LAN means "Latin Airline Network".
- Avianca used to stand for Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia (Colombia's National Airways) until it was changed for "Airways of the American Continent" (Aerovías del Continente Americano).
- TACA used to stand for Transportes Aéreos Centroamericanos (Central-American Air Transport), until it was changed for "American Continent's Air Transport" (Transportes Aéreos del Continente Americano).
- PLUNA stands for Primeras Líneas Uruguayas de Navegación Aérea (First Uruguayan Air Navigation Lines).
- Aerolíneas Argentinas simply means Argentine Airlines in Spanish
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo.
skyguyB727 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR: Reply 20, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7311 times:
Air Wisconsin (ZW) got its start in Appleton, WI. It's rather ironic that ZW headquarters is still in ATW, but the airline does not fly there. The only Wisconsin city served by Air Wisconsin is MKE.
Wisconsin Central Airlines started out in Clintonville, WI (CLI). Prior to becoming a scheduled airline, it served as a corporate shuttle for the Four Wheel Drive Corporation. Wisconsin Central later became North Central. North Central and Southern merged to become Republic. Republic bought Hughes Air West and was later acquired by Northwest. Of course, Northwest was then acquired by Delta.
As an interesting note, even after service to Clintonville was discontinued, Republic always listed Green Bay in its timetables as "Green Bay/Clintonville, WI". They always made reference to their roots.
Here's an interesting thing. Alaska Airlines (AS), while big in Alaska, is headquartered in Seattle, WA instead of a city in Alaska.
Cape Air (9K) is based in Cape Cod, MA. They have a very disconnected route structure. For example, they have a South Pacific division that flies as Continental Connection. It is not linked in any way with the rest of the 9K route system.
Great Lakes Aviation (ZK) used to be based in Fort Dodge, IA (FOD). Now they fly pretty much feeder service to and from DEN from various western cities. Wyoming and Colorado don't really have much to do with the Great Lakes region.
Marara From Australia, joined Oct 2001, 677 posts, RR: 0 Reply 21, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7300 times:
Qantas actually stood for Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services.
Virgin Blue got their names because of the red jets after a public naming competition. In Australia someone with red hair will often be nicknamed 'bluey'. Also to have a blue with someone is to have a fight. They were going to have a blue with Ansett and Qantas
I like work: it fascinates me. I can sit and look at it for hours. Jerome K Jerome
rampart From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 3015 posts, RR: 7 Reply 23, posted (3 years 1 month 1 week 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 7205 times:
Quoting steex (Reply 14): The following is a quote taken directly from the Mesaba website:
When there is a chance of confusing origins of Native American words (often), I guess it's OK to play on the confusion and go ahead and name your airline after something possibly related to a bird. (I've seen "migizi" as Ojibwa for "eagle", which is close, I suppose.) I'll go with the references in the Bright book confirming mesaba = "giant", equivalent to the Minnesotan place name (refering the the mountain range, which could be thought of as large), but if the airline wants to have its own folklore, fine with me.