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FlyCaledonian
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Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 6:18 am

Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 14, 2021 11:47 am

I know many were nostalgic over Boeing discontinuing the use of customer codes because it showed the original airline to order an airframe (even if it in some cases it maybe was never delivered). But looking through the list of these the other day I was struck by some that would have seen little (or even no) use due to being small carriers, takeovers retiring the code, etc.

Starting off with three UK airline examples:
  • 18 - British European Airways
  • 99 - British Caledonian Airways
  • 1R - Virgin Atlantic Airways

British European Airways
Was allocated the customer code 18 but never actually ordered any Boeing aircraft. I can only assume this was allocated in anticipation of either 727 or 737 orders that never materialised. BEA instead went British with the HS Trident and BAC One-eleven for its shorthaul narrowbody jet needs. Once BEA merged with BOAC in 1974 the latter's customer code (36) was used for the combined entity, British Airways.

British Caledonian Airways
I was surprised to see BCal had an allocated code and initially thought that like BEA this was in anticipation of orders that never materialised. But it seems that BCal did take delivery of two brand new 707-399C aircraft - G-AVKA (msn19415 / ln 601) and G-AVTW (msn 19767 / ln 659).

It also looks like BCal placed orders for two 737-299 aircraft that were allocated msn 20090 and 20091, but the orders were cancelled before delivery.

Virgin Atlantic Airways
Despite being quite a large 747 operator none of the 747 classics were ordered new by VS. Also, only four of the thirteen 747-400s delivered new from Boeing actually had the Virgin Atlantic customer code of 1R (the others were four 'Q8' birds leased from ILFC and five '43' birds originally ordered by Alitalia but never delivered to AZ).
  • G-VAST (msn 28757 / ln 1117) Ladybird
  • G-VVROC (msn 32746 / ln 1336) Mustang Sally
  • G-VWOW (msn 32745 / ln 1287) Cosmic Girl
  • G-VXLG (msn 29405 / ln 1177) Ruby Tuesday
Let's Go British Caledonian!
 
jeffrey0032j
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:38 pm

Jade Cargo, EV.

747-4EVF(ER).

Hypothetically, if this code was allocated to someone who had brought pax 747-400ERs, it would had been 747-4EVER.
 
DouglasDC10
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:48 pm

Cubana's 39 - Its 707 order never became reality due to the Cuban Revolution.
 
Noshow
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 14, 2021 12:53 pm

Has Air Koryo any hypothetical customer code with Boeing? Would they allocate codes "just in case" for sort of anybody?
 
B757236GT
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:30 pm

Another unusual code in the UK was 1K which was Airtours International Airways (became My Travel and then merged into Thomas Cook) which had 1X 757 and 3x767s. I never really understood the single 757 order as they were taking A321s off Airbus at the same time.
Also and yes i know its wikipedia link but here is a list of the known Boeing Build codes. Quite a few there that i recognize but havent seen in a while! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_B ... omer_codes
 
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leleko747
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 14, 2021 1:35 pm

jeffrey0032j wrote:
Jade Cargo, EV.

747-4EVF(ER).

Hypothetically, if this code was allocated to someone who had brought pax 747-400ERs, it would had been 747-4EVER.


If you use "B747-400ERF" instead of "B747-400F(ER)", you could say that these Jumbos will be 4EVER FREIGHTERS.
I wonder when people will understand:
Embraer 190 or simply E190, not ERJ-190. E-Jets are NOT ERJs!
Boeing 747-8, not Boeing 747-800. Same goes for 787.
Airbus A320, not Airbus 320.
Airbii does not exist.
 
BealineV953
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 14, 2021 2:27 pm

FlyCaledonian wrote:
I know many were nostalgic over Boeing discontinuing the use of customer codes because it showed the original airline to order an airframe (even if it in some cases it maybe was never delivered). But looking through the list of these the other day I was struck by some that would have seen little (or even no) use due to being small carriers, takeovers retiring the code, etc.

British European Airways
Was allocated the customer code 18 but never actually ordered any Boeing aircraft. I can only assume this was allocated in anticipation of either 727 or 737 orders that never materialised. BEA instead went British with the HS Trident and BAC One-eleven for its shorthaul narrowbody jet needs. Once BEA merged with BOAC in 1974 the latter's customer code (36) was used for the combined entity, British Airways.



BEA was interested in both the 737 and 727.
Top of my head I can't recall the details, but it was something like:
BEA wanted to buy 737s but had to be content with the Trident 2E, and then wanted to buy 727-200s but took the Trident 3B instead.
During the 1960s the UKs foreign reserves were not in good shape. The UK had exchange rate restrictions, and the Government would not approve large orders that would have to be paid for in US dollars.
However, the fact that Boeing went as far as allocating a customer code shows that BEA did come close to taking 737s and 727s.
Somewhere I have more on this, if I can find it I'll let you know.
Ever since childhood, when I lived within sight of London Airport, I have seldom seen a plane go by and not wished I was on it.”
With apologies to Paul Theroux - ‘The Great Railway Bazaar’
 
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vhqpa
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 14, 2021 9:07 pm

A couple I know of

F1 - Assigned to Air New Zealand (must have been with 747-200 order), but never used. They continued to use the 19 code originally assigned to NAC (Domestic predecessor which was a very early 737 customer).

D4 - Ozark. Ordered two 727-200, but cancelled before delivery. Both went to Pan Am at least one was painted in full Ozark colours.
"There you go ladies and gentleman we're through Mach 1 the speed of sound no bumps no bangs... CONCORDE"
 
BoeingGuy
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Fri Feb 19, 2021 11:38 pm

DouglasDC10 wrote:
Cubana's 39 - Its 707 order never became reality due to the Cuban Revolution.


I believe those airplanes went to Western. Did they take Western’s customer codes?
 
leftcoast8
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sat Feb 20, 2021 1:00 am

Not sure if it counts, but 17 (CP Air). When PWA acquired CP to form Canadian Airlines in 1987, PWA's customer code of 75 replaced CP's old code.

Air Canada has always used the customer code 33. Trans-Canada Air Lines never had Boeing aircraft. Jean Chrétien suggested the name change in 1964, when he was a backbencher in the House of Commons.
 
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DL_Mech
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:16 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
DouglasDC10 wrote:
Cubana's 39 - Its 707 order never became reality due to the Cuban Revolution.


I believe those airplanes went to Western. Did they take Western’s customer codes?


No, they were 707-139s. One was used in the filming of “The Delta Force.”

Image

From: http://www.impdb.org/images/a/a2/Deltaforce15.jpg
This plane is built to withstand anything... except a bad pilot.

Former AMT on A220,A310,A319/20/21,A330,A350,B707,B717,B727,B737,B747,B757,B767,B777,DC-9,DC-10,L-1011,
MD-80/90,MD-11
 
Newark727
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sun Feb 21, 2021 4:25 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
Not sure if it counts, but 17 (CP Air). When PWA acquired CP to form Canadian Airlines in 1987, PWA's customer code of 75 replaced CP's old code.

Air Canada has always used the customer code 33. Trans-Canada Air Lines never had Boeing aircraft. Jean Chrétien suggested the name change in 1964, when he was a backbencher in the House of Commons.


For a while Southwest flew at least one 737-300 that had originated with CP Air and arrived at WN by some lengthy process of sales and mergers (I think Morris Air was involved somehow.) Taking photos at LAX one afternoon, I was amazed to find, after a litany of -3H4s and -7H4s, a -317! Looked just like all the rest of Southwest's planes but it had this little secret!
 
leftcoast8
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Tue Mar 09, 2021 4:14 pm

Newark727 wrote:
For a while Southwest flew at least one 737-300 that had originated with CP Air and arrived at WN by some lengthy process of sales and mergers (I think Morris Air was involved somehow.) Taking photos at LAX one afternoon, I was amazed to find, after a litany of -3H4s and -7H4s, a -317! Looked just like all the rest of Southwest's planes but it had this little secret!


When United wet leased three DC-10s from Canadian Airlines for its new SEA-HKG route in 1983 (their 747-100s didn't have the range), they retained Canadian registrations and aircrews, who needed to be separately certified by the FAA just to fly their own company's damn aircraft. So you had DC-10s in the Saul Bass livery but still with Canadian regs.

C-GCPH's lease to United began on March 25, 1983, while C-GCPG followed on April 5. SEA-HKG launched May 28. A third D10, C-GCPF, arrived on July 11, 1983. Once UA got Pan Am's Pacific Network in the midst of its downward spiral, the D10s were replaced with Pacific Network 747SPs. D10 service to HKG ended when GCPF was returned to Canadian on May 31, 1987.

Likewise, UA's domestic DC-10-10s, which were part of the cross-lease, retained their U.S. registrations and aircrews. Humourously, Canadian gave them nicknames, even though they were just leased.

  • N1834U was nicknamed "Empress of Lima". Yes, there used to be direct service between Vancouver and South America. Not too long ago, YVR went six years without even a direct flight to Mexico City.
  • N1836U was "Empress of Expo 86". (And even had an Expo livery!)
  • N1837U was "Empress of Fiji". Possibly a reference to CP's YVR-HNL-NAN-SYD route, which had started 32 years prior with a tiny Douglas DC-6 and included a fuelstop on Canton Island (Kiribati).
 
aeromoe
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Joined: Fri Dec 08, 2006 8:34 am

Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:49 am

BoeingGuy wrote:
DouglasDC10 wrote:
Cubana's 39 - Its 707 order never became reality due to the Cuban Revolution.


...Did they take Western’s customer codes?


No - they were delivered to WA as 707-139s.
Since 60s: AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(85) BY B6 CO CZ(16) DG DL EA EI EN FI FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(87) OZ(88) PA PI PN(97) PT QF QQ RM RO RV(99) RV(16) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(13) ZZ 9K
 
aeromoe
Posts: 1717
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Wed Mar 10, 2021 2:58 am

leftcoast8 wrote:
When United wet leased three DC-10s from Canadian Airlines...


This originated during the time of CP Air, not Canadian Airlines. CP Air eventually morphed into Canadian Airlines through mergers and Canadian itself was merged into Air Canada on 1 January 2001.
Since 60s: AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(85) BY B6 CO CZ(16) DG DL EA EI EN FI FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(87) OZ(88) PA PI PN(97) PT QF QQ RM RO RV(99) RV(16) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(13) ZZ 9K
 
UA444
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Sat Mar 13, 2021 3:24 am

Who had code 88?
 
aeromoe
Posts: 1717
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Tue Mar 16, 2021 2:41 am

UA444 wrote:
Who had code 88?


Let's see. Like so many topics asked about on a.net, a simple net search provides the answer.

88: apparently nobody

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Boeing_customer_codes
Since 60s: AA AC AS BA BD BF BN BR(85) BY B6 CO CZ(16) DG DL EA EI EN FI FL FT F9 HA HP ICX JI JQ J7 KE KL KS LH MC NW OC OO OZ(87) OZ(88) PA PI PN(97) PT QF QQ RM RO RV(99) RV(16) RW SK SM SQ S4 TI TS TW UA UK US UZ VS VX WA WN WS W7 XV YV YX(13) ZZ 9K
 
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RyanairGuru
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Re: Boeing customer codes - rarities or allocated but never used

Tue Mar 16, 2021 5:22 am

aeromoe wrote:
UA444 wrote:
Who had code 88?


Let's see. Like so many topics asked about on a.net, a simple net search provides the answer.

88: apparently nobody

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Boeing_customer_codes


I’m going to go out on a limb here, and say that I think UA444 knew that and was - in effect - asking why? For example, was 88 allocated at some point but never used? It seems strange that it was completely skipped.
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