Chdmcmanus From United States of America, joined Mar 2001, 374 posts, RR: 2 Reply 1, posted (12 years 7 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1693 times:
Do a search for "last two" or "Designation", this topic has been discussed in great length during the past month or so. The last two digits are the specific operators model numbers, so if you know the reg# or operator, you can determine the model #.
A40-TY From United Arab Emirates, joined Apr 2000, 143 posts, RR: 0 Reply 4, posted (12 years 7 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1623 times:
The '30' suffix that you have identified is the Boeing customer designator assigned to Lufthansa, for example the 737-530, all the Boeing aircraft in the Lufthansa fleet have a '30' suffix, 747-430, 747-230B, etc..
All Boeing customers have their own designator code, for example:
Northwest Airlines is '51'
British Airways is '36'
Iberia is '56'
United Airlines is '22', and so on....
An aircraft designated as a 747-287B, but in say Virgin Atlantic Colours may have been originally delivered to Aerolineas Argentinas (the airlines code is '87') and then acquired by Virgin at a later date. The designator code never changes, even if an aircraft does change owners/operators.
It is interesting to note that Airbus Industrie do not assign customer codes to their aircraft, they instead have a number relating to the customisation of the aircraft (its fittings, etc) so in this case a number of different airlines can operate the same type of aircraft with the same customisation code.