mirrodie
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Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 3:19 am

Has there ever been any science or reasoning behind flight numbers and how they are chosen?

My first guess would be they are based on longitude/latitude axes. I realize direction plays a role as far as odd/even flight numbers are concerned.


for example,

BA 001 was the East to West 'flagship' flight so to speak

AA 001 is the East to West 'flagship' service NY-LA

Is there any science or practicality in assigning flight numbers? Or is it random?
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TripleDelta
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:42 am

It depends on the airline (number of destination being the most probable reference). OU for one has certain flight numbers reserved for certain destinations. 6xx are domestic flights, 4xx are international. One example would be ZAG - CDG, which is always flight number 470 on ZAG - CDG, and 471 on CDG - ZAG. 660 is ZAG - DBV, 661 DBV - ZAG.

The return flight, if it's domestic, is +1 for the flight back to ZAG (OU base), or if it is international +1 for the flight back to Croatia.
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HAL
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 6:22 am

At America West, it is related to city pairs. For example Las Vegas and Ft. Lauderdale is city pair #88, so the flights are 880, 881, 882 etc. Las Vegas to Detroit is city pair #9, and the flights are 96, 98 etc. Phoenix to Detroit is city pair #23, so the flights are 230, 234, 239 and so on. As a general rule the higher the last digit, the later in the day it operates. Of course there are some exceptions - some city pairs have only one round trip per day, so instead of wasting the rest of the available numbers, the are assigned to city pairs that may have more than ten flights a day between them.

All this will change somewhat when the merger with USAirways is completed and there is just one airline operating certificate to fly under. Then all the numbers and city pairs will have to change.

HAL
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SlamClick
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:36 am

At some US air carriers the flights with four digit numbers up in the 6000-8000 range may be operated by their "Express" in small planes. Other blocks up above or just below that range may be maintenance test flights, ferry flights, charters, training flights etc.

I've heard of odd numbers for west and southbound and even for north and eastbound or something like that.

You might get more knowledgable (on a business-related topic) people quicker over in Civil Av forum.
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buckfifty
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:16 am

Some of the flight numbers at my airline correspond with cities which have large expatriate Chinese populations. So you will see a lot more 8's and 3's in their flight numbers.

Science? Hardly.
 
mirrodie
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:34 am

didnt know about the city pairs. interesting.

I did know though about the express references. I've noticed that with AA and AE flights.
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jeffry747
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 9:40 am

At UPS, any flight that starts with 9 is a ferry flight
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KevinL1011
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 10:23 am

Quoting BuckFifty (Reply 4):
Some of the flight numbers at my airline correspond with cities which have large expatriate Chinese populations

The Chinese are very superstitious about numerology. They have "lucky" and "unlucky" numbers. I would suspect this plays in to the mix.
The city of Monterey Park, CA. has a very high Chinese population and the Post Office is continually receiving requests for address change due to unlucky numbers.
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HAWK21M
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 5:10 pm

Out here.The Now closed down East West Airlines operated their First Aircraft under 4S 786,Since 786 is considered Holy by the Muslims.East West was owned by Muslim Family.They also placed a Metal embossed frame in the Cockpit of each Aircraft.Which was supposed to Avoid crashes.
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NZ1
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RE: Assiging Flight Numbers..any Science To It?

Fri Nov 04, 2005 7:19 pm

At NZ all flights heading North or East are even numbered. Flights heading South or West are odd numbered.

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