29erUSA187
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Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:46 am

Hello all,
While listening to liveatc.net for the SAN tower, I heard Speedbird 273 (BA273) get cleared to land.

This made me wonder. I know of exactly two airlines who use a callsign different than their official name.

BA (Speedbird)
US (Cactus) - (Now non existant)

Are there any others? Why do they do this? Is it to make it easier for controllers to say quickly, or for some other reason

*Mods, if this is in the wrong forum, please move to correct section*

Thanks for any replies
29er
 
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77west
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:50 am

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Thread starter):
Are there any others?

South African Airways - Springbok
Air New Zealand - New Zealand
Aerologic - German Cargo
Virgin Australia - Velocity

And many many more...
77West - AW109S - BE90 - JS31 - B1900 - Q300 - ATR72 - DC9-30 - MD80 - B733 - A320 - B738 - A300-B4 - B773 - B77W
 
jetmatt777
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:50 am

Spirit - Spiritwings
Republic - Brickyard
Shuttle America - Mercury
Virgin America - Redwood

Plenty of others. Pretty common occurrence.
Lighten up while you still can, don't even try to understand, just find a place to make your stand and take it easy
 
Andrensn
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:50 am

China Airlines (CI) is Dynasty
 
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77west
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:52 am

http://airodyssey.net/reference/airlines/

This is a pretty good list.
77West - AW109S - BE90 - JS31 - B1900 - Q300 - ATR72 - DC9-30 - MD80 - B733 - A320 - B738 - A300-B4 - B773 - B77W
 
29erUSA187
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:53 am

Quoting Andrensn (Reply 3):
China Airlines (CI) is Dynasty

Okay this one I missed. Thanks for pointing it out. The other ones, however, I had no idea. I hear Redwood all the time on liveatc, guess it never clicked as VX
 
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LAX772LR
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 5:54 am

Virgin America - Redwood
Virgin Australia - Velocity
China Airlines - Dynasty (or in the '90s, "Die Nasty"   )
TransStates - Water Ski
Aer Lingus - Shamrock
Republic - Brick Yard
Viva Macau - Jackpot



DEFUNCT:
Airtran - Citrus
ValuJet - Critter



There's plenty more, but those are some of the cooler ones, off the top of my head.
I myself, suspect a more prosaic motive... ~Thranduil
 
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clickhappy
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:01 am

National (N7) was "Red Rock." Which, if you've ever been to Vegas, makes sense.
 
steex
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:03 am

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Thread starter):
Are there any others? Why do they do this? Is it to make it easier for controllers to say quickly, or for some other reason

There are more than I can count, and it's for a variety of reasons - most commonly related to heritage or geographic location. In addition to BA and US, here are a few more:

AirTran - Citrus (no longer in use)
ValuJet - Critter (no longer in use)
Aer Lingus - Shamrock
South African Airways - Springbok
Virgin America - Redwood
Virgin Australia - Velocity
China Airlines - Dynasty
ExpressJet - Acey
Mesa - Air Shuttle
PSA - Blue Streak
Republic - Brickyard
Trans States - Waterski
Endeavor - Flagship
GoJet - Lindbergh
Shuttle America - Mercury
 
HAL
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:11 am

Atlas Air = 'Giant'
Mokulele = 'Speedbuggy'
PSA = 'Bluestreak'
Island Air (Hawaii) = 'Moku'
Mesa Airlines = 'Air Shuttle'

These are just a few off the top of my head that I've heard regularly while at work.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
qf002
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:12 am

My favourite is Airnorth (Australia) - "Top End".

Jetstar Hong Kong was going to be "Kai Tak" which would have been cool.
 
briguychau
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:26 am

Central Mountain Air = 'Glacier'
Canadian North = 'Empress'

And my favourite is:
Sky Regional = 'Maple'
 
starbucks
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 6:28 am

Some from Europe

Brussels Airways - B-Line
Jetairfly - Beauty
TNT Airways - Quality
Norwegian Air Shuttle - NorShuttle
FlyBe - Jersey
Easyjet Switzerland - TopSwiss
Transavia France - France Soleil

[Edited 2015-07-21 23:37:32]
 
tribird1011
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 7:04 am

current:
SATA = Azores

defunct
Canada 3000 = Elite
 
axelesgg
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:41 am

I'd guess there is more airlines that doesn't have their names (or parts of) in their callsigns...

Malmö Aviation is "Scanwing"
Hong Kong Airlines is "Bauhinia"
Fly Draganair
 
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nighthawk
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:46 am

Callsigns that differ from the airlines name are chosen for a variety of reasons. Often it is the result of mergers, or a result of the airline renaming.

EG:
FlyBE, callsign "Jersey", from their former name Jersey European.
Jet2, callsign "Channex", from their former name Channel Express.

Some airlines also use different callsigns for different divisions of the business.

E.G
BA use "Shuttle" as the callsign for their domestic services, and "Speedbird" for the rest of the network. I believe they also used the callsign "British" for regional flights in the past.

In other cases, the callsign is changed to avoid confusion between other airlines.
Virgin Atlantic use the callsign "Virgin", so Virgin America/Australia need to use something else to avoid being confused with Virgin Atlantic.
 
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Scooter01
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 8:51 am

PanAm used to be "Clipper"

Scooter01
There is always a good reason to watch airplanes
 
B777LRF
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 9:28 am

SAS: Scandinavian
Thomas Cook DK: Viking
TNT: Nitro
DHL Bahrain: Dilmun
DHL Germany/UK: Eurotrans
Signature. You just read one.
 
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zkojq
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:14 am

HK Express is 'Hong Kong Shuttle'.
Tiger Air is 'Go Cat'.
Transaero is 'Transoviet'.

Quoting B777LRF (Reply 17):
TNT: Nitro

I thought it was 'Quality'? Definitely one of my favorites.

[Edited 2015-07-22 03:29:10]
First to fly the 787-9
 
wjcandee
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 10:34 am

Atlantic Southeast Airlines, ASA, used to be "Candler"

It's an Atlanta thing. Nobody outside of Atlanta would understand the reference.
 
shuttle9juliet
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:13 pm

BA also use "Santa" for special flights.
 
cxb744
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:19 pm

Open Skies (BA France): Mistral
ExpressJet: AC
What is it? It's A 747-400, but that's not important right now.
 
a380787
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:23 pm

Quoting cxb744 (Reply 21):

Express jet is "AC"? Isn't the whole point of these call signs is to *not* confuse it with the 2 letter airline code ?
 
flightsimer
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:34 pm

Quoting HAL (Reply 9):

Interesting on mokulele as their call sign for the Pittsburgh ops is Mokulele

Just above every regional airline in the U.S. Has a different call sign than its name.
Commercial / Airline Pilot
 
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ams747757
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:36 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 22):

Express jet is "AC"? Isn't the whole point of these call signs is to *not* confuse it with the 2 letter airline code ?

See reply 8... Express Jet is Acey.... not AC. Sounds the same but spelled differently. Their 2 letter IATA code is EV (EVA Air has BR I guess because EV was already taken) and ICAO is ESQ.

Acey and Air Canada (AC IATA code) wouldn't get mixed up since Air Canada's callsign is "Air Canada".
 
flightsimer
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:38 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 22):

You say it as "eh see" I believe. At least that is how I here it.
Commercial / Airline Pilot
 
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Coal
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:38 pm

Quoting axelesgg (Reply 14):
Hong Kong Airlines is "Bauhinia"

Which is named after the Hong Kong Orchid which is the emblem in the Hong Kong flag.

Rgds
Coal
Nxt Flts: SQ SIN-KIX | HD UKB-CTS | NH CTS-NRT | SQ NRT-SIN | AK SIN-DPS-SIN
 
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Thunderboltdrgn
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 12:39 pm

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Thread starter):
Are there any others?

Sure TX (Air Caraïbes) calls themselves FRENCH WEST
Like a thunderbolt of lightning the Dragon roars across the sky. Il Drago Ruggente
 
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winterlight
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:47 pm

BA aircraft under tow at LHR use Bealine - which is the old BEA calllsign and also the current Brussels AL one.
Question everything. Trust no-one.
 
sccutler
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:49 pm

Legend was "Legendary."
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
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Thunderboltdrgn
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:52 pm

Swedish Höga Kusten flyg (HK) calls themselves Golden.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%B6ga_Kusten_Flyg
Like a thunderbolt of lightning the Dragon roars across the sky. Il Drago Ruggente
 
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winterlight
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:56 pm

Atlantic Airlines/West Atlantic - Neptune.

Titan - Zap.

[Edited 2015-07-22 06:57:24]
Question everything. Trust no-one.
 
a380787
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:13 pm

Quoting ams747757 (Reply 24):

See reply 8... Express Jet is Acey.... not AC. Sounds the same but spelled differently. Their 2 letter IATA code is EV (EVA Air has BR I guess because EV was already taken) and ICAO is ESQ.

Acey and Air Canada (AC IATA code) wouldn't get mixed up since Air Canada's callsign is "Air Canada".

I can just see the potential chaos when a EV and AC plane are at intersecting runways with the same flight number (EV 8 and AC 8), and the tower says "acey 8 clear for takeoff" and the AirCanada one heard it wrong ....
 
CXfirst
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:29 pm

Some that I see around my home airport that haven't been mentioned yet.

Air Asia - Red Cap
Air Asia X - Xanadu
Air Asia Indonesia - Wagon Air
Skywest (Australia) - Ozwest (before they were bought out by Virgin Australia)
Alliance - Unity
Garuda - Indonesia
Tigerair - Go Cat

I've always found it odd that Delta actually use delta, as that is also in the phonetic alphabet. Have seen other airlines have a flight number with a D in it, so it's odd hearing them say for instance "Emirates Four Thirty-Fife Delta" (happened a few days ago). Could imagine it being an issue when there are plenty of Delta aircraft around.

I've just always concluded that they've just had it so long that it has become a part of history. Couldn't for instance imagine a start up being approved today with a callsign Alpha, even if they were named Alpha Airlines or something similar.

-CXfirst
 
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IslandRob
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:38 pm

I love this thread! -ir
If you wrote me off, I'd understand it
'Cause I've been on some other planet
So come pick me up, I've landed
 
flyDTW1992
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 2:50 pm

Quoting a380787 (Reply 32):
I can just see the potential chaos when a EV and AC plane are at intersecting runways with the same flight number (EV 8 and AC 8), and the tower says "acey 8 clear for takeoff" and the AirCanada one heard it wrong ....

Well the good news there is you'd never hear a controller use "AC" for Air Canada, and no Air Canada crew would expect it. Most controllers I know hardly even know the two-letter IATA codes, the ICAO codes are so well ingrained into ATC operations and into their mindset.
Now you're flying smart
 
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XAM2175
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:03 pm

Quoting Starbucks (Reply 12):
Brussels Airways - B-Line

Rendered as BEELINE, and an interesting harkening to British European and their use of BEALINE.

Air France render their callsign as AIRFRANS to better reproduce to English speakers the name's pronunciation in French.

Notably, the ICAO actively discourage callsigns ("radiotelephony designators") that don't match the name of the airline:

Quoting ICAO Document 8585 Designators for Aircraft Operating Agencies:
3.2 In the registration of telephony designators the following rules will apply:
a) the telephony designator should resemble the name of the aircraft operating agency or its function and be distinct and dissimilar from any other telephony designators in Doc 8585. Ideally it should reflect correlation between the three-letter designator, the telephony designator, and the aircraft operating agency or its function (examples: ARO - ARROW - Arrow Aviation; RAJ - RAJI - Raji Airlines);

It also holds that the actual three-letter designator can't be used as a call-sign, but existing users (KLM and TWA are used as examples) can continue that use.

... but then again, actually looking over the listings in ICAO 8585... there are a hell of a lot of totally-unrelated callsigns in there :p
 
thegreatchecko
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:12 pm

Lynx Aviation - Shasta (Defunct) - Rocky Mountain was already taken by the helicopter company  
"A pilot's plane she is. She will love you if you deserve it, and try to kill you if you don't...She is the Mighty Q400"
 
wn676
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:24 pm

Always liked Kalitta's call sign..."Connie."
Tiny, unreadable text leaves ample room for interpretation.
 
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winterlight
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:26 pm

Quoting XAM2175 (Reply 36):
Brussels Airways - B-Line
Rendered as BEELINE, and an interesting harkening to British European and their use of BEALINE

See also reply 28.
Question everything. Trust no-one.
 
Alias1024
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:27 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 19):

Atlantic Southeast Airlines, ASA, used to be "Candler"

It's an Atlanta thing. Nobody outside of Atlanta would understand the reference.


I think serious business students would figure it out. As someone who is not from Atlanta, nor ever lived there, I was always a big fan of that call sign. It was quite clever and a nice nod to Atlanta's history.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems with just potatoes.
 
maxpower1954
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 3:36 pm

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 33):
I've always found it odd that Delta actually use delta, as that is also in the phonetic alphabet. Have seen other airlines have a flight number with a D in it, so it's odd hearing them say for instance "Emirates Four Thirty-Fife Delta" (happened a few days ago). Could imagine it being an issue when there are plenty of Delta aircraft around.

I've just always concluded that they've just had it so long that it has become a part of history. Couldn't for instance imagine a start up being approved today with a callsign Alpha, even if they were named Alpha Airlines or something similar.

Actually, Delta's name predates the use of "Delta" in the Phonetic Alphabet. Prior to 1956 it was "Dog" (Able, Baker, Charlie, Dog, Easy, Fox, ect.) Having Delta in the call sign isn't an issue, what about GA aircraft that end in "D" ?

There is some confusion, notably in Atlanta where any "D" gate or taxiways are called "Dixie" because of the many Delta flights . If Delta was a startup, "Dixie" would be a cool call sign though!
 
bohica
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:12 pm

Quoting thegreatchecko (Reply 37):
Lynx Aviation - Shasta (Defunct)

Westair Commuter Airlines used to use Wescom until they changed it to Shasta. They changed it to Sundance about a year later. This was around 1990.




Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 41):
There is some confusion, notably in Atlanta where any "D" gate or taxiways are called "Dixie" because of the many Delta flights . If Delta was a startup, "Dixie" would be a cool call sign though!

Let's hope the political correctness police don't find out about taxiway "Dixie." They'll associate the word with hate and demand it gets changed.  
 
nikeherc
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:15 pm

Remember Palm for Air Florida and Apple for New York Air
DC6 to 777 and most things in between
 
bluesky73
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:27 pm

How about these ones?

Lion Air - Skiddy Offski
Easyjet - Squeezy

Sorry....   
 
PSAjet17
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:39 pm

Quoting 29erUSA187 (Thread starter):
US (Cactus)

This callsign goes back to the days of America West Airlines. America West flew in the same skies as American Airlines, Western Airlines and also Southwest. When communicating with ATC, it could be confusing...did the controller just call America West or was that American?(Especially if part of the transmission gets cut off or walked over)

Being headquartered in Phoenix, America West chose the alternate name of CACTUS to help avoid confusion. When America West and US Airways were joined, they chose to keep the CACTUS callsign even though the company name became US Airways.
 
StrandedAtMKG
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:46 pm

Quoting wjcandee (Reply 19):
Quoting wjcandee (Reply 19):
Atlantic Southeast Airlines, ASA, used to be "Candler"

It's an Atlanta thing. Nobody outside of Atlanta would understand the reference.

Asa Candler was the guy who took John Pemberton's invention, Coca-Cola, and ran with it. He was also the 44th mayor of Atlanta.

(For the record, I'm a Yankee.)
 
YLWbased
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:49 pm

Hong Kong Express (UO) - Hong Kong Shuttle
Hong Kong Airlines (HX) - Bauhinia
S7 - Siberian Airlines
Pacific Coastal Airlines - PASCO

YLWbased
Hong Kong is not China. Not better or worse, just different.
 
JohnGalt
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:52 pm

Sky King had the call sign "Songbird", which was taken from the name of the aircraft in the radio/TV show "Sky King" from the 1940s/50s.
 
bluesky73
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RE: Differing Callsigns From Airline Names

Wed Jul 22, 2015 4:55 pm

One of my favs as a kid at LHR

Flying Tiger Line - Tiger

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