yanksn4
Posts: 1367
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:05 am

How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:31 am

Greetings everyone. I just wanted to find out how an aircraft or route is assigned the flight number? Thanks for your replies and time.

signed,
Matthew
2013 Airports: EWR, JFK, LGA, LIS, AGP, DEN, GIG, RGN, BKK, LHR, FRA, LAX, SYD, PER, MEL, MCO, MIA, PEK, IAH
 
N670UW
Posts: 1441
Joined: Mon Jul 21, 2003 9:55 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:33 am

Most flagship routes (like transoceanic and transcontinental flights) keep the same flight numbers all the time - but, at least for most U.S. carriers, flight numbers for general, non-flagship flights are assigned randomly by airlines' computer systems.

There is no mathematical formula or anything.



N670UW

[Edited 2004-10-25 01:35:13]
 
FlySSC
Posts: 5179
Joined: Tue Aug 12, 2003 1:38 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:03 am

It depend on the airline organization and "logic"...!

Concerning Air France :

AF001 was Concorde JFK-CDG
AF002 was Concorde CDG-JFK

These flight numbers are not used anymore since the retirement of the supersonic last year.

The flight numbers depend on the destinations :

AF0XX : USA
AF3XX : Canada an USA
AF4XX : Central and South America / Carribean
AF2XX : Asia
AF1XX : Asia
AF5XX : Middle East
AF6XX : French Overseas Departements : FDF / PTP / RUN / CAY
AF7XX : Africa
AF8XX : Africa
AF9XX : Africa

AF1XXX to AF5XXX : Europe & Domestic flights
except 39XX = Local Carribean network

8XXX to 9XXX : Flight operated by Skyteam partner or foreign airline codeshare agreement.
 
Cory6188
Posts: 2609
Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2004 12:29 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:33 am

CO's flight numbers are pretty regular. Either the first two or last two digits of the flight number are the same for all the flights on a route, with the exception of those flights that are part of international flights (i.e. some flights EWR-LAX, EWR-SFO, and EWR-IAH). Usually, the numbers in one direction will be one higher than the other direction.

Anything under 100 is either international or long haul (EWR-HNL or IAH-OGG, for example).

For example, EWR-SJU is 19XX, with odd endings on the southbound and evens on the northbound.

EWR-LAX is XX03, and LAX-EWR is XX02 (for the most part).
 
ETStar
Posts: 1850
Joined: Mon Jan 12, 2004 6:25 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 3:16 pm

At Ethiopian Airlines, the numbering is as follows:

ET1XX: Domestic
ET2XX: Domestic
ET3XX: Dire Dawa (only those continuing on to JIB and HGA), Djibouti and Somalia
ET4XX: North Africa and Middle East (Excluding Dubai)
ET5XX: United States
ET6XX: Dubai, Indian Subcontinent and Far East
ET7XX: Europe
ET8XX: East and Southern Africa
ET9XX: West Africa

Cargo flights have 4 digits, with the first one being a '3', the second one being one of the identifiers above. Charter/extra flights have the same number as the above preceded by a '1'.
 
6thfreedom
Posts: 2615
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:09 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 4:08 pm

I think it's generally a thought out process among network planning staff.

In Australia, QF operates QF1-399 for international routes, QF 400 + for domestic.

Many flight numbers can be symbolic, as was mentioned earlier.

QF's HKG flight number tend to have 8 (for good luck).
QF's DOH-PVG flights are QR888, and if remember correctly, Ansett's flight to HKG also had the number 8.

 
cragley
Posts: 390
Joined: Tue Jul 20, 2004 6:09 pm

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 6:24 pm


Oh and if a plane ever goes down, they never use the same flight number again.

 
keno
Posts: 1809
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2004 5:46 pm

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:28 pm

For Malaysia Airlines, the numberings are :-

MH 0001-0049 Europe
MH 0050-0089 Japan, Korea, Hong Kong/Taiwan (from KUL)
MH 0090-0099 North America
MH 0100-0149 Oceania
MH 0150-0199 Middle East & Indian Subcontinent
MH 0200-0299 Africa & South America
MH 0300-0399 China, Hong Kong/Taiwan (from BKI/KCH)
MH 0600-0699 Singapore
MH 0700-0999 Southeast Asia
MH 1000-1999 Domestic : Peninsular Malaysia
MH 2000-2999 Domestic : Borneo mainline
MH 3000-3999 Domestic : Borneo rural service

MH 9000-9199 codeshares : KL (Kul-Ams), OS, MK, TG, KE, KA, GA, QR, HY & UL
MH 9200-9299 codeshares : KL (Scandinavian sectors)
MH 9400-9699 codeshares : BD (UK domestic sectors)
MH 9700-9999 codeshares : CX, VN & BI

Odd numbers are inbound, even numbers are outbound.
 
geoffm
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:42 pm

"CO's flight numbers are pretty regular"

Well, some of them are. Now you mention the last digit, it does appear that some routes do follow this convention. Ignoring ex-International flights (ie two digit numbers), many do end in the same number. Others appear to be completely random:

IAH-SEA: 395, 195, 622, 467
IAH-LAX: 495, 1087, 1695, 695, 795, 1195, 1095, (47)
IAH-MIA: 1590, 1790, 1890, 1984
IAH-PHX: 305, 1929, 307, 507

However, the EWR flights DO seem to follow a pattern - usually either the first two digits of a four digit number, or the last two digits of a 3/4 digit number.

Are the odd ones perhaps continuations of other flights?

Geoff M.
 
7LBAC111
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 9:17 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 8:49 pm

Wasn't there some convention that flights going East (transatlantic) operated as ODD numbers and the return westbound flight operated as an EVEN number??

Mark
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
geoffm
Posts: 2082
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2004 5:58 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:33 pm

7L, other way around. Odd for westbound, even for eastbound. Maybe there's some regulation that stipulates this, as every airline seems to adhere to it.

Geoff M.
 
7LBAC111
Posts: 2427
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 9:17 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:37 pm

LOL - how thick am I?? Wouldn't believe I was a travel manager!

[Edited 2004-10-25 14:38:00]
Debate is what you put on de hook when you want to catch de fish.
 
PiedmontCowboy
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 2:03 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 9:47 pm

Back in the late 80's, Delta reorganized all of its flight numbers - probably after a new computer system was implemented. (Can somebody confirm this?) Anyhoo, I remember you would know the type of aircraft that was used based on the flight number. Examples:

1-199 L-1011 (all variants)
200 - 599 B-727-200
600 - 699 DC-9-30
700 - 799 B-757-200
800 - 899 B-767-200
900 - 1199 DC-8-71 and/or B-737-200
etc, etc.

This didn't last very long as new routes and new planes entered service. I thought it was an interesting flight numbering system.

 
6thfreedom
Posts: 2615
Joined: Thu Sep 30, 2004 11:09 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:14 pm

Geoff,
what happens if the route happens to be a straight up north-south sector??? LOL...

just wondering..

i always thought that the system was derived from the company, and that all services outbound from its home port had odd numbers, and all inbound flights were even.

eg. QF from MEL to: LAX 93/103, LHR 9, HKG 87/187
QF to MEL from: LAX 94/104, LHR 10, HKG 88/188

and the same applies for SQ.
from SIN to MEL : SQ217/227/237
from MEL to SIN" SQ218/28/238
 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 10:33 pm

There is no "law" regarding the numbering of flights. At Pan Am even numbers were East and Northbound and odd numbers west and southbound. Flights in the 40's were to Scandanavia, the 70"s to Germany, the 90's to other European countries, the 100's to LHR, the 110's to the mid east, 120's were polar trips, 160's cargo, 200's were the Carribean and S. America from JFK and 400's the same only from MIA.

Here at World, my job is to assign flight numbers to the flights that I schedule. I still use the same even/odd basis but use 8000 series for AMC trips, 900's for ferry flights and then just arbitrarily assign flight numbers to the remaining flights. When we're flying ACMI for a customer, we will use their call sign and flight numbers.

Ed
Ed
 
InnocuousFox
Posts: 2556
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2003 1:30 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:42 pm

The short answer is "any bloody way they want". For more info, see this. (I saved you the trouble of entering the search criteria yourself.)
Dave Mark - Intrinsic Algorithm - Reducing the world to mathematical equations!
 
L1011Lover
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:16 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Mon Oct 25, 2004 11:52 pm

Clipper002,

...I have one question: Didn´t Delta adopt the Pan Am flight numbering system for its international transatlantic/European and India flights???

I remember one of the JFK-FRA flights being flt.# DL72, while the other one (which is the one still going JFK-FRA) was DL106 (continuing on to BOM).
Were these PA´s flt.numbers from JFK to FRA?
Also JFK-MUC used to be DL76, while IAD-FRA was DL60 and LAX-FRA was DL58. Most of those FRA flights have been cancelled after the shut down of the FRA Mini hub.
Some of the flight numbers however are still in use for other European flights.
DL72 for instance is now JFK-IST (nonstop service) while it used to be JFK-FRA-IST until 1998.
DL60 for instance was later used for ATL-HAM and then retired after the route has been axed.

I´m just curious???

Best regards,

L1011Lover
 
9V-SPJ
Posts: 667
Joined: Thu Dec 21, 2000 1:51 pm

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 2:37 am

For SQ:
001-050 are American Flights
050-100 are Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam flights
100-200 are Malaysian and Indonesian Flgihts
200-300 are Australia and New Zealand
300-400 are European
400-500 are Indian Subcontinent, Middle East, Africa
800-900 are China including HK, South Korea and Taiwan
900-1000 are Japanese Flights.

9V-SPJ
 
ckfred
Posts: 4694
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2001 12:50 pm

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 2:49 am

With U.S. carriers, westbound or southbound flights usually end in an odd number, while eastbound or northbound flights usually end in an even number.

I know at AA, the trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific flights are either single digits, double digits, or 100 series.

Flights between ORD and LGA are 300 series, and flights between ORD and DFW are either 2200 or 2300 series. My guess is that these are flights that need priority handling (high-yield and connecting traffic), hence the regular series of flight numbers.
 
VS045
Posts: 188
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 2004 5:33 pm

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 2:56 am

On virgin, flight numbers are assigned as follows:

Americas: VS 0XX
Shanghai and Hong Kong: VS 2XX
Delhi: VS 3XX
Africa: VS 6XX
Japan: VS 9XX

Cheers,
VS045

4 engines 4 long haul
 
ORDagent
Posts: 580
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2003 6:24 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:00 am

AFIK....A lot of flights to CMH were listed by several carriers as 1492!
 
PiedmontCowboy
Posts: 9
Joined: Sat Oct 02, 2004 2:03 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:21 am

CMH and flight 1492! Too funny!  Smile/happy/getting dizzy
 
od-bwh
Posts: 308
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2002 6:25 pm

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:43 am

As far as I know, MEA uses the following numbering:
ME2XX in flights to Europe
ME3XX in flights to the Middle East and North Africa
ME4XX in flights to the Gulf Region
ME5XX in flights to West Africa
ME6XX in flights to the Far East/Australia
ME7XX in flights to North America/South America
ME1XXX in extra or charter flights...

OD-BWH
A300, A319, A320, A321, A332, A333, A343, A346, A388, B734, B738, B744, B772, B773, B788, F70, MD11, CRJ700
 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:53 am

L1011Lover,
Yes, DL did adopt the original PA flight numbers. However 106 used to run IAD/LHR, not JFK/FRA. This flight was also run on several interchanges with DL and NA for continuing service out of IAD. I never did hear of the reasoning as to why the retained the flight numbers but can guess that they were aware of the familiarity throughout the frequent fliers on these routes.

Ed
Ed
 
NWAFA
Posts: 1843
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 2003 10:30 pm

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 3:55 am

At NWA we have flight #777 that does to LAS. 1776 to PHL..
THANK YOU FOR FLYING NORTHWEST AIRLINES, WE TRULY APPRECIATE YOUR BUSINESS!
 
GDSer
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2004 9:27 pm

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Tue Oct 26, 2004 6:38 am

With the system that I work for, the airline is assigned a range of flight numbers to use and they can use them however they wish. Another flight number range is given for any "associated" carriers, such as commuters. And then yet another set of flight ranges is chosen for extra sections and charters. So, depending on what you want to do, that range is where you build your flights.

Customers can also pick their flight number ranges. It's totally open depending on how that particular customer wants to do business.
 
L1011Lover
Posts: 736
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 5:16 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:59 am

Clipper002,

...Thank You very much for all the information, I highly appreciate it.

I do have one more question: Do you remember by a lucky chance what the 2nd PA JFK-FRA flight number was? I´m curious now I know it wasn´t 106.

Hope that doesn´t bother you, but I don´t have an old PA timetable to check the flt.numbers. Always wanted to have one but they´re offered only on eBay USA and not on eBay Germany and unfortunately most of the sellers do not want to send and mail overseas...

Thanx in advance,

L1011Lover
 
qwerty
Posts: 380
Joined: Sat Mar 17, 2001 7:31 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:13 pm

I remember WN having a flight to CMH (Columbus, OH) as Flight 1492 (year Columbus discovered what became America).

PHL Flight 1776 is better, IMO.

I stumbled around in there reservation system but couldn't find it.
 
Clipper002
Posts: 659
Joined: Wed Aug 11, 2004 4:24 am

RE: How Are Flight Numbers Assigned

Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:27 pm

L1011Lover,
Flight 72 was the only non-stop flight from the states to FRA. Everything else operated via LHR. Flight 54 from DTW, 106 from IAD and 98 from MIA plus 120 from LAX over the pole.

Rgds,
Ed
Ed

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