727LOVER
Topic Author
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Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 10:37 am

OLD CARRIERS:

AA=American
CO=Continental
NW= Northwest
EA=Eastern
BN=Braniff
RC=Republic


These seem to be pretty staightfoward.

NEWER or POST-DEREG CARRIERS:

F9=Airtran
B6=Jetblue
HP=America West
WN=Southwest--this is easily confused with Western
OQ=Air Florida(I think)
NK=Spirit
TZ=American Trans Air

There's a bunch of others, I can't even think of.

And here are 2 that are really confusing:

KW was not for Kiwi(USA), but Carnival. KP=Kiwi

Why is this?Jetblue- was JB taken already? or JE or JL
B6 makes no sense!  Nuts

Spirit could be SP or ST. I think SR was Swissair, right?

Who makes these codes? IATA, my guess.

Love Trumps Hate
 
BWIrwy4
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 10:44 am

Southwest is WN because it's the exact opposite of Northwest (NW).
 
Skyway1
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 10:45 am

Midwest Express is YX. I can't remember the story of how they got it. Skyway(ME Connection) is AL, but they operate under the YX code.

Chris  Smile
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CO 757-300
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 10:59 am

F9 is Frontier not Airtran
Airtran is FL refering to Florida i believe
Lou
 
TG992
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 11:02 am

The reason is that all the 'normal' sounding codes have already been assigned!

For example..

TE (formally Air NZ's code) is now Lithuanian Airlines
EA (Eastern) is now European Air Express
RC (Republic) is now Air Srpska (!?)
-
 
justplanesmart
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 1:24 pm

Do the math. With letters only, there are 26*26 total combinations-676. That is not very many for the entire world's airlines. Obvious, some had to get some that were not close to their operating name. Including numerals for the second digit only adds 260 more for 936-and that includes such unlikely ones as O0 and I1. Going to three-letter codes allows for 17576 codes, so that makes possible some that are more fitting to the operating name-CES for China Eastern instead of MU, for example. So, what is the three-letter code for Horizon Air, stuck with the two-letter monstrosity QX? Well, QXE, of course. Go figure.
"So many planes; so little time..."
 
watewate
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 1:28 pm

You can have numbers in the code, so I guess it's 36*36. It's better, but good ones are bound to be taken. I'm waiting for some genius to snap up '69' for their start-up.
 
Guest

RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 1:30 pm

The reason is that all the 'normal' sounding codes have already been assigned!

'SR' is now available!

I remember EVA's current 'BR' code was occupied by UTA until 1989.
 
flyinghighboy
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:13 pm

Virgin Blue = DJ
Well that seems a bit off as well
Anyone have VB?
 
justplanesmart
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:24 pm

Actually, BR was the code for British Caledonian, as I recall. UTA's was UT, I think.
"So many planes; so little time..."
 
je89_w
Crew
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:41 pm

PB Air is 9Q, Angel Air is 3Q. That's all I can think of.
 
lutfi
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Tue Apr 02, 2002 5:52 pm

JB = Helijet Airways
SW=Namib Air (South West Africa)
JE= Manx (used to be Jersey European)

They are assigned by IATA on first come, first served basis. If airine goes bankrupt, code goes back into the pool.

However, swaps have occurred. An Austrian airline (Air Tyrol) I believe swaped ND with Airlink's VO. ND has bad connotations in Central Europe... As both were small airlines, the cost of changing the computer systems etc. was low.

 
744rules
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:46 am

some more strange codes
8q onur air
g7 gandalf airways
h2 (former) citybird
8d volare (now changed into va)
6v lac
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 3:49 am

Singapore AIrlines = SQ?

I have to add something to get past the rule again.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
LJ
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 4:21 am

VB is already taken. Its owned by Maersk Ltd, the British subsidiary of Maersk. This IATA code was originally in the possesion of Bimighan European (or something like that) and was later taken over by maersk and renamed Maersk Ltd.

KLM Cityhopper claimed "WA" after it became available because KLM intended to use this IATA code for its Wings Alliance.

BTW not all airlines use their IATA code. Some airlines for example Onur Air and Freebird regulary uses its three letter ICAO code (OHY and FHY respectively) for their flights.
 
gibberish
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 4:49 am

Actually the "SR" code will stay inactive for two months due to regualtions of the ICAO. But SWISS will use this code again as they hold the rights for it. They just can't use it as of now.

gibberish
 
Britair
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:06 am

It is interesting to have had codes re-born....

TN - was Australian Airlines (TAA) and is now Air Tahiti Nui
AE - was Air Europe now Mandarin Airlines
BR - was the lovely (and much missed!) British Caledonian now EVA Air
TE - was Air New Zealand (from when they were TEAL, then they adopted NZ from NAC their domestic wing) now Lithuanian Air Lines
UN - was Eastern Australia Airlines (now uses QF) now Transaero

....cant think of any more!

 Smile

 
Sonic
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:18 am

Don't know why Lithuanian taken TE actually... I know some airline uses 3 letter codes, like WEA - White Eagle Aviation. I don't know why Lithuaian Airlines didn't taken "LAL" since this one is officially used abbreviation, at their first livery word LAL was even written on tails.
 
VS11
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:22 am

Southwest is not the exact opposite of Northwest,
direction-wise. Southeast would be the exact opposite of Northwest.  Smile

Regards,
VS11
 
Britair
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 5:26 am

....thought of another one:

EW - was EastWest Airlines of Australia now Eurowings (at least that went to good use!)

Some other weird ones i can think of:

KA = Dragonair
IJ = AirLib
LX = Crossair, now Swiss (always confused me when Luxair has LG!)
OZ = Asiana
HV = Transavia
IG = Meridiana
DP = Air 2000
2T = was Canada3000
JJ = TAM
UM = Air Zimbabwe

...and the list goes on!

 Smile
 
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PW100
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 6:53 am

Yes, since the early nineties IATA has allowed swaps. I believe the first airline to make use of it was Eurowings who took up EW. EW was assigned to East West Airlines of Australia. Prior to that Eurowings flew NS code.

PW100
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searpqx
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RE: Why Must New Airlines Have Strange Codes?

Wed Apr 03, 2002 7:06 am

It gets interesting for some of us 'old timers' who were around when one airline had a code, then the original airline when bankrupt, code was reassigned then a new carrier was started up from the ashes of the old one.

My favorite is OZ. Originally assigned to Ozark in the US, was assigned to Asiana when they started service in the 90s. When Ozark returned to the skies (briefly), I had to remind myself that OZ was still Asiana and that Ozark was not flying from SEL to SEA!
"The two most common elements in the universe are Hydrogen and stupidity"