flyoregon
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Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:17 pm

I was thinking about airline branding and airline names and became curious as to the origin of some of them. Obviously some are pretty obvious i.e. Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, British Airways, etc.

Outside of national airlines, airlines with names like Scoot, Ansett (defunct of course), FlyBe, and so on must have a story behind the name? I realize that many are named a certain way because a marketing agency and the decision makers thought it would be "cute", but I'd be interested to learn more about it if people have some insight.
 
Qantas59
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:45 pm

Check out bio of Reg Ansett, great aviation story.
[photoid][photoid][/photoid][/photoid]/Users/jaytanguay/Desktop/Screen Shot 2016-10-27 at 9.30.09 AM.png
 
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jnev3289
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:46 pm

Slightly related, but slightly not, does anyone know why Southwest has WN as their 2 letter identifier?
 
klakzky123
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:48 pm

jnev3289 wrote:
Slightly related, but slightly not, does anyone know why Southwest has WN as their 2 letter identifier?


https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t ... ba-p/41573
 
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jnev3289
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:50 pm

klakzky123 wrote:
jnev3289 wrote:
Slightly related, but slightly not, does anyone know why Southwest has WN as their 2 letter identifier?


https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t ... ba-p/41573

So basically no one knows?
 
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SR380
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:53 pm

Defunct Swiss career Baboo based in Geneva was named after the CEO and founder’s dog’s name.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 7:55 pm

flyoregon wrote:
I was thinking about airline branding and airline names and became curious as to the origin of some of them. Obviously some are pretty obvious

Why don't you ask Sir Reginald Myles ANSETT for his input?
Or Howard Hughes? Or King Hussein of Jordan?

Of course they are all dead, so you will need a Ouija board, although Princess Alia bint Hussein is still alive even though the airline named after her isn't......

EDIT; I see somebody else jumped in with Reg Ansett whilst I was digging out some pretty pictures. My bad. :weeping:
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
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IrishAyes
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:01 pm

klakzky123 wrote:
jnev3289 wrote:
Slightly related, but slightly not, does anyone know why Southwest has WN as their 2 letter identifier?


https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t ... ba-p/41573


It's nuts, isn't it?!

BTW, early in 2017, I flew Air Namibia from Walvis Bay to Johannesburg. The flight number was SW 737. Even though it was on an ERJ-145, I thought that was hella cool.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:09 pm

flyoregon wrote:
airlines with names like ....FlyBe,


The airline launched in 1979 as Jersey European Airways following the merger of Intra Airways and Express Air Services.
Jersey European was renamed British European in 2000 (shortened to "BE"), and received its current name (FlyBe) in 2002.

Next......

I suppose I could mention Fred Olsen.... who also took over Sterling Airways, which then allows me to fetch out this classic photo from the database.
Nothing to see here; move along please.
 
Kikko19
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:16 pm

Fred Olsen? The same that operates ferry in canary Islands? Qantas was an interesting acronyms.
 
winginit
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:42 pm

jnev3289 wrote:
Slightly related, but slightly not, does anyone know why Southwest has WN as their 2 letter identifier?


Per 'Hard Landing' it was randomly assigned by IATA. Air Namibia (SW) was known as South West Air Transport so they had SW locked down.
 
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FlyCaledonian
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 8:47 pm

flyoregon wrote:
I was thinking about airline branding and airline names and became curious as to the origin of some of them. Obviously some are pretty obvious i.e. Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines, British Airways, etc.

Outside of national airlines, airlines with names like Scoot, Ansett (defunct of course), FlyBe, and so on must have a story behind the name? I realize that many are named a certain way because a marketing agency and the decision makers thought it would be "cute", but I'd be interested to learn more about it if people have some insight.

FlyBe was a rebranding of British European which in turn was a rebranding of Jersey European.
Image
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-WJsdB8utJH0/Ulk3D0j78lI/AAAAAAAAA6s/q0wbStzmfYo/s1600/FlyBe+Airlines+Logo+History.jpg

bmi (since taken over by British Airways) is another rebranding.
Image
https://www.famouslogos.net/images/bmi-logo-evolution.jpg

Another defunct UK Charter airline, Britannia Airways, started life in 1961 as Euravia but in 1964 rebranded as Britannia after acquiring Bristol Britannia aircraft. It became Thomsonfly in 2005; Thomson Airways in 2008 (after merging with First Choice); and in 2017 it became TUI Airways as TUI finally killed off the Thomson brand in the UK.
Image
https://i.pinimg.com/originals/f9/f8/7f/f9f87ff4e002daaef454f95a8e89018f.jpg

There are those airlines with acronyms, some more well known than others: -
    * Qantas Airways comes from "QANTAS", from its original name, "Queensland and Northern Territory Aerial Services"
    * Sabena World Airlines (1923-2001) came from "SABENA", from its original name, "Societé Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne" (Belgian Corporation for Air Navigation Services)
    * KLM comes from "Koninklijke Luchtvaart Maatschappij" (Royal Airlines Company)
    * VIASA (1960-1997) came from "Venezolana Internacional de Aviación Sociedad Anónima" (JSC Venezuelan International Airways)
    * VARIG (1927-2006) came from "Viação Aérea RIo-Grandense"

Then there are those airlines that were named after people.
    * Ansett Australia (1936-2001) founded by Reg Ansett in 1935 as Ansett Airways Pty Ltd. Collapsed.
    * Lauda Air (1985-2013) founded by Niki Lauda in 1979. Rebranded as Austrian myHoliday.
    * Niki (2003-) founded by Niki Lauda and has been rescued by him (with support from Thomas Cook) from the collapse of Air Berlin.
    * Wardair (1952-1989) founded by Max Ward before being taken over by Canadian Airlines.
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jnev3289
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:08 pm

winginit wrote:
jnev3289 wrote:
Slightly related, but slightly not, does anyone know why Southwest has WN as their 2 letter identifier?


Per 'Hard Landing' it was randomly assigned by IATA. Air Namibia (SW) was known as South West Air Transport so they had SW locked down.

It's amusing to me they chose to have a randomly assigned one instead of figure out one that had some meaning to the company
 
uclax
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:10 pm

Delta got their start as Huff Dalland Dusters (an early crop dusting operation) in the Mississippi River Delta region of Louisiana and Mississippi.
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SpaceshipDC10
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:16 pm

The now defunct (I believe) SAHSA got its name from Stay At Home, Stay Alive. ;) Nah, not true, but somehow fun.
 
Interflug74
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:20 pm

interesting thread, keep on
 
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kjeld0d
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:35 pm

Then there is the infamous "USGlobal" formerly Baltia. After almost 30 years of wasting investors money, the company acknowledges that its name has become a punchline.
 
seat1a
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:42 pm

Tom and Paul Braniff's airline has a great history.
 
Danny319
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:45 pm

Laker Airways & Trump Shuttle named after their founders, Sir Freddie Laker & Donald Trump. Ryanair I think was also named after their original founders, Tony & Christopher Ryan.
 
alan3
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:46 pm

Still wondering at what point someone at SCAT Airlines will finally come to their senses. Or Taiwan's FAT for that matter.

I wonder who at China's "Okay Airlines" decided not to go for being great or good or amazing but rather just "okay".

Vanilla Air.....yes it's a plant but according to the dictionary also means "having no special or extra features; ordinary or standard"

Wizz Air....self explanatory

I'm not saying the world has to revolve around English slang, but given the dominance of English, you'd think someone at those airlines would have done a Google search.
Last edited by alan3 on Fri Jan 26, 2018 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
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longhauler
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:08 pm

The landscape of Canada's airlines has for a long time revolved around the need for a bilingual name.

Back in the early days, Trans-Canada Air Lines (its origins self explanatory) was translated into "Air Canada" when referred to in French. Starting in the late 1950s it was always referred to as "Trans-Canada Air Lines / Air Canada". In 1964, an act of parliament officially changed its name to the bilingual "Air Canada". While today the "Air + Name" convention for an airline is common, it wasn't so in the 1960s and the new airline was often called "Ventillate Canada".

Air Canada's subsidiaries/partners also reflect the bilingual need and nature .... Tango, Zip, Jazz, Rouge, Express, etc.

The same thing was going on at Canada's other airline, Canadian Pacific Airlines. It's new name, CPAir was more bilingually acceptable. (As were the other components of CP Limited ... CP Rail, CP Ships, CP Hotels, CP Telecommunications, etc) When the switch was made back to Canadian Pacific there was concern over the side of the aircraft which would be English "Canadian Pacific" and which would be French, "Canadien Pacifique". It was decided to alternate with each repainting to keep things fair.

With the formation of Canadian Airlines International when merging CP with PWA, it was simply Canadi>n. English saw an A, French saw an E. That convention remained until the merger with Air Canada.
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eidvm
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 10:43 pm

Irish national airline Aer Lingus comes from the anglisation of Aer Loingeas, Loingeas being the Irish word for fleet (a "Long" is a ship or large boat :old: ), so basically Aer Lingus shares it's name with Aeroflot/ Air Fleet.
 
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Dalavia
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:11 pm

East-West Airlines (which I've always thought was a great name for an airline), which was an Australian airline that operated from 1947 to 1993, was named simply because its first route flew in an east-to-west direction (between Tamworth, Port Macquarie and Newcastle if I'm not mistaken).
 
jplatts
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:37 pm

Southwest Airlines is named after the Southwestern United States, the region where the airline was founded and the region where its DAL home base and HOU and PHX focus cities are located. In addition, Southwest now serves additional destinations in the Southwestern U.S. along with destinations in the West Coast, Mountain West, Midwest, Northeast, and Southeast regions of the U.S., and in addition to that, Southwest also now serves international destinations in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean.

Alaska Airlines is named after the state of Alaska, the state where its original operations were located in. Even though Alaska Airlines has expanded beyond the state of Alaska, Alaska Airlines still has an Alaskan hub at ANC and Alaska Airlines does still operate intrastate routes within the state of Alaska.

The current Frontier Airlines, which is now an ULCC, took its name from a defunct legacy carrier that discontinued operations in 1986, and the original Frontier Airlines, which operated between 1950 and 1986, took its name from its location in the Frontier of the United States.

Virgin America was named after Virgin Group, the owner of the Virgin brand, and Virgin America was partially owned by Virgin Group prior to its acquisition by Alaska Airlines.
 
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ClipperYankee
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:48 pm

The now defunct VIASA was "Venezolana Internacional de Aviacion, Sociedad Anonima", if memory serves. Frankly it's a phrase that doesn't roll off the tongue well in Spanish nor does it translate well to English either. Used to fly them a lot when I lived in Caracas but I always seemed to get "stuck" in their DC-8s. Never got to ride in their DC-10 nor in the Convairs.
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mandargb
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:52 pm

SouthWest (WN): Doesn't WN come from (We Nuts). As their approach, of serving only NUTS in the cabin?

Interestingly their stock symbol is also "LUV" to match close with "LOVE" field?
 
mandargb
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:53 pm

More interesting to know will be call signs with ATC.
 
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OzarkD9S
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Fri Jan 26, 2018 11:58 pm

Many MANY airline names were geographic in scope, especially in the US.

Ozark: The Ozark Mountains in Missouri.
Allegheny: The Allegheny Mountains in Pennsylvania.
Piedmont: The Piedmont region of the Carolinas.
Northeast: Based in Boston...obvious.
North Central: Based well, in the North Central region of the US.
Texas International/Trans Texas: Self Explanatory.
Pacific: On the west coast.
Air Florida: Based in Florida.
Midway: Based at Midway Airport.
Delta: Originally from MLU in the Mississippi Delta.
Western: Based in The West.
Eastern: Based in The East.

etc....
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afcjets
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:01 am

jnev3289 wrote:
klakzky123 wrote:
jnev3289 wrote:
Slightly related, but slightly not, does anyone know why Southwest has WN as their 2 letter identifier?


https://www.southwestaircommunity.com/t ... ba-p/41573

So basically no one knows?


The article is very interesting but what makes no sense is the article never answers the question yet it says thanks to its founder and his secretary for contributing to the article. If it was random or they want to keep it a secret, at least say that.
 
OSL777FLYER
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:11 am

Scoot is a great name. As to get from one place to another quickly. You "Scoot" along. Very clever. I remember also Scandinavian Airlines tried their own low-cost offshoot Snowflake. Great and clever, but failed due to high costs.
 
mandargb
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:24 am

HOP (mostly operating in Europe) is good name too.

United, naming its little brother as TED, was lack of creativity imo. (Or they did not want to spend money on branding company to come up with good name and save on some painting / artwork cost too, for low cost airline!)
 
bx737
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:31 am

Former Spanish Airlines:
Hispania........Latin name for Spain
Viva Air..........Vuelas y Vacaciones (Sorry my spelling is probably incorrect, flights and holidays)
Aviaco...........Aviacion y Commercio (Aviation and Commerce)
Spantax.........Spanish Air Taxis
 
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holcakker
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:45 am

MALÉV stood for Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat (=Hungarian Air Transport Company).
 
afcjets
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:49 am

jplatts wrote:

Alaska Airlines is named after the state of Alaska, the state where its original operations were located in. Even though Alaska Airlines has expanded beyond the state of Alaska, Alaska Airlines still has an Alaskan hub at ANC and Alaska Airlines does still operate intrastate routes within the state of Alaska.



Lol you can't be serious, can you now enlighten us on how Hawaiian and Aloha got their names?
 
afcjets
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:52 am

mandargb wrote:

Interestingly their stock symbol is also "LUV" to match close with "LOVE" field?


Yup, they admit that.
 
AtomicGarden
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:53 am

holcakker wrote:
MALÉV stood for Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat (=Hungarian Air Transport Company).


Oh look I didn't know that. I like names which are actually acronyms but don't look like one, i.e. Qantas, Varig, Avianca. Any other we can add to the list?
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 12:57 am

eidvm wrote:
Irish national airline Aer Lingus comes from the anglisation of Aer Loingeas, Loingeas being the Irish word for fleet (a "Long" is a ship or large boat :old: ), so basically Aer Lingus shares it's name with Aeroflot/ Air Fleet.

That's quite interesting. I had always assumed it was the creation of Mr Lingus, although personally I always preferred his wife, Constance.
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LH707330
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:01 am

holcakker wrote:
MALÉV stood for Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat (=Hungarian Air Transport Company).

There's a bunch of other initialism->name airlines out there:
Sabena = Societé Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne
Qantas = Qld and Northern Territory Air Service
Delta: delayed every late time always :duck:

Lufthansa used to be Luft Hansa, which means "Air Hansa," where "Hansa" is the Hanseatic League of trading cities.

Per Longhauler's post, Air France was adopted because "Ventilation de France" would take up too much space on the dirty fuselage :duck:

Alitalia: "To Italy"

United comes from United Air Transport, which used to be PW+Boeing+UA until the regulators split the three up in 1934 (IIRC)

American because they're based in Dallas, which houses the Cowboys, which is the most American thing ever :duck:
 
ratp101
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:11 am

In Central America:

TACA : Transportes Aéreos Centro Americanos
AVIATECA : Empresa GuatemalTECA de AVIAción
SAHSA : Servicio Aéreo de Honduras Sociedad Anónima
TAN : Transportes Aéreos Nacionales
LACSA : Lineas Aéreas Costarricenses Sociedad Anónima
LANICA : Líneas Aéreas NICAraguenses
COPA : COmpañía PAnameña de Aviación
AVIANCA : AeroVIAs Nacionales de ColombiA
 
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ClipperYankee
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:23 am

LAN was originally Lan Chile, for Lineas Aereas Nacionales Chile, before morphing with TAM into LATAM.
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VX321
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:32 am

alan3 wrote:
Still wondering at what point someone at SCAT Airlines will finally come to their senses. Or Taiwan's FAT for that matter.

I wonder who at China's "Okay Airlines" decided not to go for being great or good or amazing but rather just "okay".

Vanilla Air.....yes it's a plant but according to the dictionary also means "having no special or extra features; ordinary or standard"

Wizz Air....self explanatory

I'm not saying the world has to revolve around English slang, but given the dominance of English, you'd think someone at those airlines would have done a Google search.


My understanding is that SCAT is an acronym for Special Cargo Air Transport. Maybe they should use their leisure division name for all their flights, Sunday Airlines. As for FAT, it too is an acronym. It’s full name is Far Eastern Air Transport but Far East is one phrase and many will drop the second word’s first letter for a simpler acronym. Eventually if they did add a E, it wouldn’t be much better.
 
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SheikhDjibouti
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:34 am

AtomicGarden wrote:
holcakker wrote:
MALÉV stood for Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat (=Hungarian Air Transport Company).


Oh look I didn't know that. I like names which are actually acronyms but don't look like one, i.e. Qantas, Varig, Avianca. Any other we can add to the list?

As already mentioned above, SABENA, and VIASA belong in that list
I can add TABSO (Транспортно-авиационно българо-съветско обединение) although to most western eyes it doesn't scan particularly well.

LIAT has a certain ring to it, whilst Court Line owes it's name to a shipping company

Yes, the colour schemes are definitely from the same studio, but the airlines themselves were chalk-and-cheese, and would never be found at the same airport.

Most three-letter acronyms would be disqualified as too short, although I've always liked THY and LOT.
And then there is SAM, which looks even cooler in all lower case.
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alfa164
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:48 am

Danny319 wrote:
Laker Airways & Trump Shuttle named after their founders, Sir Freddie Laker & Donald Trump. Ryanair I think was also named after their original founders, Tony & Christopher Ryan.


Almost. The Trump Shuttle was founded as the Eastern Air Lines Shuttle; Trump renamed it when he bought its landing rights and some of its physical assets assets just prior to EA's bankruptcy. It operated under Trump's name for about three-and-a-half years; with Trump defaulting on the loans he had personally guaranteed, the banks decided it was time to find a buyer. Northwest mad a bid, but ultimately US Airways got the operation.

SheikhDjibouti wrote:
LIAT has a certain ring to it, whilst Court Line owes it's name to a shipping company


And LIAT stands for "Leeward Islands Air Transport"

alan3 wrote:
Still wondering at what point someone at SCAT Airlines will finally come to their senses. Or Taiwan's FAT for that matter.
Wizz Air....self explanatory
I'm not saying the world has to revolve around English slang, but given the dominance of English, you'd think someone at those airlines would have done a Google search.


I keep waiting to see what emerges from the inevitable SCAT and Wizz Air merger... ;)
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smi0006
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 1:48 am

QANTAS is of course Queensland And Northern Territory Arial Service.

Virgin Australia was previously Virgin Blue - which was named after the aircraft being painted red, in-line with Virgin branding. Blue is a Australian colloquial English associates withthw colour red, or red heads.
 
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sudenmorsian
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:06 am

Northwest Airlines, originally based in Detroit, gets its name from the Northwest Territory which consisted of modern-day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin and parts of Minnesota and was to the northwest of the original borders of the United States. (This is indeed why the term "Pacific Northwest" is used to refer to the northwestern continental US in order to disambiguate between that region and the (Old) Northwest.)
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Gr8Circle
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:27 am

Prior to starting Jet Airways (9W) in 1993, founder Naresh Goyal owned a travel agency called Jet Travels....when he started an airline, he just called it Jet Airways.....
 
cskok8
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 2:59 am

Gr8Circle wrote:
Prior to starting Jet Airways (9W) in 1993, founder Naresh Goyal owned a travel agency called Jet Travels....when he started an airline, he just called it Jet Airways.....


Not because they flew jets?
 
StrandedAtMKG
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 3:37 am

LH707330 wrote:
holcakker wrote:
MALÉV stood for Magyar Légiközlekedési Vállalat (=Hungarian Air Transport Company).

There's a bunch of other initialism->name airlines out there:
Sabena = Societé Anonyme Belge d'Exploitation de la Navigation Aérienne
Qantas = Qld and Northern Territory Air Service
Delta: delayed every late time always :duck:


Funny, but DELTA is actually an acronym for Doesn't Ever Leave The Airport. :duck:
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 5:20 am

Alitalia is a portmanteau that loosely means ‘wings of Italy’. Ali d’Italia.
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pa747sp
Posts: 227
Joined: Wed Jan 30, 2008 9:41 pm

Re: Origin of Airline Names

Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:29 am

Dan Air (UK) = Davis and Newman Shipping , hence DAN
Nothing seems as good since the VC10.

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