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What Do Airline's Names Mean (i.e. Lufthansa)?  
User currently offline747-600X From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 2829 posts, RR: 13
Posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 8202 times:

I think I can figure out what American and British Airways means, but in terms of simple definition (or translation) what do these words mean?...

Aer Lingus
Ansett Australia
Cathay Pacific
All Nippon Airways

85 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
User currently offlineSnoopy From Switzerland, joined Oct 2001, 370 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 8036 times:

I only know a couple:

QANTAS: Queensland and Northern Territories Air Service

SABENA: Societe Anonyme Belge de Navigation Aerienne

Lufthansa: Probably refers to the fact that the famous German ports (e.g. Hamburg, Bremen, etc.) were called Hansa Ports. Together with Luft, i.e. air.

Iberia: Probably refers to the fact that Spain and Portugal is sometimes referred to as the Iberian Peninsula


User currently offline456 From Netherlands, joined Feb 2001, 332 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7995 times:

They are called Hansa ports, because those cities were called Hansa cities. Which means something like trading cities (it comes from the middle ages)

Please correct me if i am wrong, my history lessons are far behind me!

User currently offlineEI133 From Ireland, joined Jan 2000, 307 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7985 times:

Aer Lingus means fleet. It is taken from the Irish language.

User currently offlineTrentis From Australia, joined Apr 2001, 160 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7972 times:

"Hansa" in German can mean "league", so Lufthansa would mean "air league". In Germany it is also often called "die deutsche Lufthansa", meaning the German air league.

Ansett Australia-
named after Sir Reginald Ansett, who founded Ansett Airways 65 or so years ago. Has in it's history also been called Ansett-ANA, Ansett, and after the deregulation of aviation in Australia the name changed to Ansett Australia. The Ansett name has also been attached to regional subsidaries, such as Ansett W.A. etc.

I'm not 100% sure of these two, but I think Cathay is named after someone who was influential in Hong Kong (please correct me if I'm wrong), and the 'Nippon' in ANA means 'Japan'.

User currently offlineManni From South Korea, joined Nov 2001, 4221 posts, RR: 22
Reply 5, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7964 times:

QANTAS, the airline first operated locally in Queensland and the Northern Territory in Australia. Queensland And Northern Territory Air Service

CATHAY is the ancient name for China, crossing the Pacific from China.

Nippon Is the Japanese name/translation for Japan. Japanese call their country Nippon, like Koreans call their country Hankook., but they call Japan Ilbon. Confused? Big grin

Iberie, Spain is together with Portugal on the Iberian penninsula, I guess that explains it.

User currently offlineOH-LZA From Finland, joined Jun 2001, 1000 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks 1 hour ago) and read 7945 times:

AFAIK "Flot" is fleet in Russian and "Aero" is fleet, so the translation would be "Airfleet".


User currently offlineTSV From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 1641 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks ago) and read 7915 times:

Queensland And Northern Territory Aerial Services (QANTAS) Limited.

Interestingly "The History of Australia's Airlines" by Samuel Brimson says the initial name was Western Queensland Auto Aerial Service (WQAAS ???) Limited and then changed to Australian Transcontinental Aerial Services Company (ATASC ???) Limited until the above was registered.

"I told you I was ill ..." Spike Milligan
User currently offlineHb-iqj From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks ago) and read 7883 times:

El Al -

"EL" in Hebrew - TO
"AL" in Hebrew - SKY

"To the Sky"

Joke - Each Landing Always Late.

User currently offlineRA-85154 From Netherlands, joined Sep 2001, 618 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (14 years 3 months 4 weeks ago) and read 7874 times:

Aeroflot somewhere around 1930 became the trading name of the Grazhdanskiy Vozdushniy Flot, or Civil Air Fleet.

AEROFLOT indeeds means AIR-FLEET, this is because under the Soviet Union, ALL aircraft, from Il-86 to the smallest helicopter or training aircraft , i.e. the whole 'Airfleet' was operated by one organisation under one name, and this became Aeroflot ( which in Russian is pronounced as "Ayeraflót" )


User currently offlineIB6400 From Mexico, joined Jun 1999, 247 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7825 times:


I just know a few...

A few days ago while I was at college I asked some German students about the word "Lufthansa" I told them I knew it was an airline but didn't know what was the meaning of the word, so they told me "Luft" means "Air" and "Hansa" means "Commerce" or "Trade".
She said to me it's more like:

"Lufthansa - Merchants of the Air"

SABENA - Societe Anonyme Belge d'Explotaition de la Navigation Aerienne.

IBERIA - There's no meaning for this word, Iberia was the first name of Spain. Now a days it refers to the Iberian peninsula where Spain is.

QANTAS - Queensland And Northern Territories Air Services

ANA, All Nippon Airways - In Japanese "Nippon" means "Japan". So it would be something like "All Japan Airways"

A few more:

AVIANCA - Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia
Something like: "Colombian National Airways"

LAN CHILE - Línea Aérea Nacional de Chile
"Chile's National Airline"

VARIG - Viaçao Aerea Rio Grande
"Río Grande Air Company"

VASP - Viaçao Aerea São Paulo
"São Paulo Air Company"

Could someone post the meaning for KLM?

Joaquín  Smile
Mexico City

Yo soy yo más mis circunstancias - J. Ortega y Gasset
User currently offlineAirmale From Botswana, joined Sep 2004, 391 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7808 times:

Someone told me VARIG is pronounced "VARIGEE" in Portugese, true or false Confused

.....up there with the best!
User currently offlineSonic From Lithuania, joined Jan 2000, 1671 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7804 times:

Aeroflot was known as Dobroflot before. What does that means?

KLM is three netherlands words, I don'r remember full trabslation. Also, other airlines:

Lietuva is Lithuanian word for Lithuania and Aviakompanija means Air Company

AURELA (now bankrupted)
Means nothing, just a company name

User currently offlineFly_emirates From United Arab Emirates, joined Oct 2000, 1046 posts, RR: 8
Reply 13, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7783 times:

you know, this is interesting, i mean i am taking a german course in a language institute and in one of the readings it was like "luftmail" so i was like "wait a minuite proffessor, isnt luft included in lufthansa" so he was impressed by the question and he explained to me that hansa means some thing that the german are proud of, probably a place, cant really remember, but he told me that lufthansa is standing for that name that the german are proud off... sorry, not quite enough explanation but.. it might help

User currently offlineGF-A330 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2001, 1644 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 7765 times:

What about KLM ?

User currently offlineFlyboy_se From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 894 posts, RR: 5
Reply 15, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7754 times:

KLM- Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschapij , i am not sure about the spelling. It means something like Royal Dutch Airtraffic or Airlines , i am not sure though.

some others
JAT -Jugoslovenski AeroTransport -Yugoslav Air Transport
SAS- Scandinavian Airline Systems
AOM- Air Otre Mer dont know what it means
LOT -polske linie Lotnicze
CSA-CeskoSlovenske Aerolinie -Czech Airlines
THY-Türk Hava Yollari Turkish Airlines
VLM- Vlamsee Luchtvaart Maatschapij Flamish Airlines
Lauda Air named after its founder Nikki Lauda

I am not sure about the spelling of some words

I prefer to be crazy and happy rather than normal and bitter
User currently offlineFlightSimFreak From United States of America, joined Oct 2000, 720 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7747 times:

I was told that Lufthansa ment Dancing Air...

User currently offlineKdonohue From Canada, joined Sep 2001, 419 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7738 times:

I always thought KLM was an acronym for the Dutch, "Royal Dutch Airlines"

I looked on their site, but couldn't get any confirmation of this. I know the Dutch word for Royal is "koninklijk"

User currently offlineRacko From Germany, joined Nov 2001, 4887 posts, RR: 19
Reply 18, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7712 times:

i could imagine that "Hansa" has something to do with the old german "Hanse" in the middle-age, which was a very famous trading union in europe. Luft means air of course.

User currently offlineJarek From Poland, joined May 2001, 347 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 7703 times:

Polish Airlines LOT - "LOT" means "flight"


User currently onlineScorpio From Belgium, joined Oct 2001, 5297 posts, RR: 43
Reply 20, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7695 times:

KLM = Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij

Koninklijke = Royal
Luchtvaartmaatschappij: airline

So, KLM: Royal Airlines

User currently offline9y-isa From Trinidad and Tobago, joined May 2001, 222 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7682 times:

just a couple caribbean airlines here:
BWIA..British West Indian Airways aka But Will It Arrive,
Better Wait in Airport, But We In de Air...as a Trinidadian and supporter of BWIA I can make these jokes, nobody else can  Big grin

Oh LIAT..Leeward Island Air Transport aka Leaves Island Any Time. If you flew with any of these airlines before you would know exactly what I'm talking about. They operate from Antigua (ANU)

User currently offlineSpectre242 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 139 posts, RR: 0
Reply 22, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7678 times:

Well I have often seen the slogan KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, so I am almost certain this is the meaning of it.

Delta Airlines originates from the delta of the Mississippi river as the airline was based in that area when formed, or something along those lines.

BWIA - British West Indian Airways

Sobelair - Societe Belge de Transports par Air SA

Cambrian Airlines was propably named after the Cambrian Mountains in Wales.

Xiamen Airlines named after the city of Xiamen, where it was started i think.

Aces Columbia (Aerolineas Centrales de Columbia)

Braathens S.A.F.E - named after founder, Ludwig Braathens. S.A.F.E comes from South American and Far East Air Transport Company. I believe Ludwig owned a shipping company and originally set up the airline to fly his ship crews to South Ameircan and Far Eastern ports to join his boats, and it was oly later that he transported paying passengers.

Brit Air named after the Brittany region of france where it is based.

DAN-Air London - named after the parent company Davies and Newman, which was a shipbrokering firm.

Does anybody know what LOT Polish Airliens stands for? I think it has something to do with Polskie Linie Lotnicze.

User currently offlineGanymed From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 23, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 7674 times:

AOM aka "Air Outre Mer" means "air overseas ".

TAP- "Transportes aeres Portugueses" - Portuguese air transport (sorry if my spelling's wrong)

Tarom - "Transporturile aeriene Romane" - Romanian air Transport

User currently offlinePtica2000 From Slovenia, joined Nov 2000, 142 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (14 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 7636 times:

Adria Airways - from Slovenia

Adria stands for Adriatic sea
Airways - I don't have to explain

25 Skymonster : LUFTHANSA - Let Us Fondle The Hostesses And Not Say Anything QANTAS - Quick And Nasty, Typical Australian Service SABENA - Such A Bad Experience Never
26 Jarek : Spectre242, as for LOT see my post 3 posts before yours. In addition - Polskie Linie Lotnicze means "Polish Airlines". JArek
27 MEA-707 : KLM-Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij litterally translated means Royal ("Kinglike") Aviation Company, so the word "Dutch" isn't included. Probably
28 747-600X : Wow!!! Thanks for all these responses guys. Jeesh... kinda' a nice lesson in linguistics here, eh? I had no idea that Qantas and Sabena (for examples)
29 Post contains images BO__einG : Few more, these I am not sure of. I learned quite a bit from you guys, Thanks! JMC- I know C is Collin I think cuz its one of those founder names. MES
30 Prebennorholm : To get KLM 100% straight I think that this is valid: Koninklijke = royal Luchtvaart = air traffic (Lucht = air, Vaart = traffic) Maatschappij = compan
31 Alvaro : TAESA- Trasportes Aéreos Ejecutivos Sociedad Anónima.
32 RJ_Delta : Hi: Lufthansa: Luft: Air / Hansa: group or league. Air League or Air Group. Iberia: because the Iberian Peninsula. RJ_Delta.
33 RJ_Delta : And: Cathay Pacific: Cathay is the oldest name of China, and Pacific indicates the main area of the airline. RJ_Delta.
34 Dragon-wings : TAM = Taxi Aereo Marilia LanChile = Linea Aerea Nacional (LanChile)
35 J-bird : Covered well already, but All Nippon Airlines is in fact All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. ... In Japanese, I think it is Zen Nippon Koku... which means Al
36 Fanofjets : UTA = Union de Transport Aerien LTU = Luft Transport Unternehmen MALEV = The M stands for "Magyar" (Hungarian); I have the rest of the acronym somewhe
37 COPA737 : COPA = Compania Panamena de Aviacion LACSA= Lineas Aereas Costaricenses S.A. TACA= Transportes Aereos Centro Americanos SAM= Sociedad Aerea de Medelli
38 Post contains images Ntcrawler : Just a quick correction: LOT's full name is "Polskie Linie Lotnicze", or "Polish Air Lines", but the word itself means "flight" -NtCrawler
39 Ntcrawler : What about Braniff, Tarom, and TAM? -NtCrawler
40 Squigee : Wardair- Named after the founder Maxwell Ward Westjet- Based in Western Canada, in Calgary
41 Acidradio : Mesaba is named after the area it originated in, the Mesabi Range in northern Minnesota. The term Mesaba is also used to describe the area.
42 747-600X : A couple other good ones came up in some of your responses, just what is DHL the acronym for, and aside from Emery boards, what is Emery (worldwide)?
43 Marara : Garuda was the bird that one of the gods used to ride on. He is associated with royalty in many S.E. Asian countries. Our Indonesian teacher told us a
44 Dragon-wings : DHL = Adrian (D)alsey, Larry (H)illblom, and Robert (L)ynn......the company founders. Ntcrawler...........look at my other post here, I have TAM up th
45 BO__einG : another one. T N T.. -Biman- Bangladesh. Volga-Dnepr I know those are two rivers but how do these associate with the company? VANGUARD Purolator Those
46 Post contains links AWspicious : Malev's name as explained in their web site. On November 6, 1954, a joint statement by Hungary and the Soviet Union announced the closure of their joi
47 Mandala499 : Some from Indonesia with some meanings... Garuda = Giant mythical eagle of Hindhu religion that was prevalent in Indonesia before Islam swept. The bir
48 AWspicious : ACE = All Canada Express Does anyone know if Air Transat is something about Air Transportation Atlantic.... a translation of the French-Canadian wordi
49 Garuda : Spantax = Spannish Air Taxi
50 Miami1 : Garuda - correct a mythical bird. its sister airline Merpati Nusantara - merpati is indonesian for 'pidgeon' nusantara means 'passage/track or bridge'
51 A330300 : Braniff was named after its founder, Tom Braniff.
52 Post contains images IB6400 : Hi! Thanks for KLM! Here are more... TAME - Transportes Aéreos Militares del Ecuador (Militar Air Transport of Ecuador) SAM (Colombia) - Servicios A
53 SQ772 : I need someone who speaks Greek... Can anyone tell me what OLYMPIC means...I was told many years ago that OLYMPIC is actually the acronym of a few Gre
54 Trentis : Posted by Miami1: "nusantara means 'passage/track or bridge' " This is not true. 'Nusantara' in bahasa Indonesia is another word for Indonesia, or the
55 Post contains images LMML 14/32 : Wow ! This is what this forum is about - good clean knowledge. Well done to all the posters !
56 Post contains images RA-85154 : To Sonic: Indeed Aeroflot also has flown under the name of Dobrolet, which can also be pronounced as Dobrolyot. 'Dobro' means good in Russian, and 'Le
57 310_engineer : Martinair founded in 1958. Comes from it's founder Martin Schroder an ex airforce pilot.
58 Post contains images Airsicknessbag : RE: Hapag-Lloyd - Hapag-Lloyd the airline derived from Hapag-Lloyd the shipping company. Hapag-Lloyd was the merger of Norddeutscher Lloyd ("North Ge
59 Post contains images Airsicknessbag : RE: JMC - James Mason Cook, Thomas Cook´s son. The name was adopted after the merger of Flying Colours and ??? because the couldn´t agree upon a nam
60 Post contains links and images Jj : RE: JMC - James Mason Cook, Thomas Cook´s son. The name was adopted after the merger of Flying Colours and ??? because the couldn´t agree upon a nam
61 Ovelix : SQ772 Olympic name has nothing to do with greek rivers. Olympic comes from the Olympic Games, the famous ancients athletic events that were held at Ol
62 Post contains images Thadocta : QANTAS - Queers And Nymphomaniacs Training As Stewards.
63 Jj : Could ya tell me the meaning of Aer Aerran? thx, jj
64 Jj : JAT: Jugoslavian Air Transport? TAM: Transportes Aereos Mercosur
65 Post contains links and images Baec777 : ALIA = Always Late In ArrivalClick for large versionPhoto © Johan LjungdahlClick for large versionPhoto © Alastair T. GardinerClick for larg
66 Covert : the full name for lufthansa is "Deutsche Lufthansa", meaning German Air Company, buy they hardly ever user the german part. The hansa is usally used t
67 Guerosinfe : Airmale, yeah that pronounce is right. IB6400, TAM is not Transportes Aéreos do Mercosur, TAM actually means nothing because today TAM has nothing to
68 L'Espace180 : AWspicious : Air Transat : transat means a lot of things in french...it's quite possible that the airline name is a game with transat(lantique) and tr
69 Racko : i thought LTU means LuftTransportUnion, but i'm not 100% sure
70 BO__einG : Transat is the name of a company. They also started an airline to name after the company. im not sure that Transat inc, does but I guess It has a big
71 Slawko : Air Transat refers to the companies original Trans ATlantic charter operations. Also works in english and french.
72 Mehtabrahman : Biman Bangladesh Airlines Biman means 'aeroplane' in English. So it probably means Aeroplane Bangladesh, or maybe Air Bangladesh. On the other hand, t
73 Bombayhog : Great post. Just to add on to the Cathay explanation- the term Cathay, I believe, was popularized in Europe by Marco Polo through his accounts of trav
74 COPA737 : IB6400, SAM is not Servicios Aereos de Medellin. It`s "Sociedad Aeronautica de Medellin".
75 Corey777 : Mesa literally means 'table' in Spanish, but refers to the flat-topped plateaus common in the American Southwest, where Mesa Air is based. Corey777
76 Post contains images AWspicious : L'Espace180, Bo_einG, Slawko
77 JU101 : JAT is known in Serbian as: Jugoslovenski Aerotransport In direct translation it would be Yugoslav Air Transport, however JAT is recognised under the
78 N766UA : Alitalia is short for Aerolinee Italiane Internationali.
79 N766UA : Also... Embraer: Empresa Brasileira de Aeronautica
80 Ady : Panama's Copa Compania Aerea Panamenia Panamanian Aviation Company and LAB, Lineas Aereas Boliviano
81 Loadcontroller : TAM (if two letter code is JJ): Transportes Aéreos Meridionais TAM (if two letter code is PZ): Trasportes Aéreos del Mercosur
82 Lapa_saab340 : LAB stands for Lloyd Aereo Boliviano
83 Shamrock104 : Contary to what other people may have said or implied in this forum, Aer Lingus directly comes from Irish, meaning as the literal transation "AIR FLE
84 Dl_48 : Hi, think if my memory serves me right, Cathay is the old original name for China. Regards, Dave...
85 WunalaDreaming : JMC was a merger of Flying Colours, Caledonian (The 'British' prefix was dropped when it was taken over by BA), and Airworld.
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