Talk:Airline codes

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I'm not sure that this list of airline codes is truly encyclopedic. DangerDoctor2 10:11, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

  • Why not? Actually in going through and combining 3 articles into one, the exercise has been helpful in identifying various errors that would not show up in other places. Once the data is in a single place, a lot of cleanup to fix errors will be done. Vegaswikian 19:32, 23 April 2007 (UTC)

cleanup remaining[edit]

I 'finished' the merge of articles, I found and corrected many errors. Codes did not agree with the articles, article names differed in the code based articles. I corrected these as I found them. There is still some work remaining:

  1. The list needs to be sorted by airline name
  2. The IATA only codes need to be reformatted and added to the main table
  3. Missing airline links need to be verified since some are there with different names

Vegaswikian 19:28, 1 May 2007 (UTC)


Vegaswikian, as I see you are merging, editing, etc this list, I will leave this edit needed here for your info. Astair Airlines was named to Interavia Airlines in 2005. The IATA code is ZA. The ICAO code is SUW. The callsign is ASTAIR. You may want to update this as you progress. I will list any additional changes as I come across them. --Russavia 18:30, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Feel free to do the update as needed. This is a large task and I work on it when I have time. Any editor is welcome to help with the cleanup. In any case, information that is wrong should be corrcted when it is noticed. Vegaswikian 19:26, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Myanma Airways and Myanmar Airways International[edit]

These are 2 different airlines. Myanma Airways has IATA code of UB and ICAO of UBA and callsign of UNIONAIR. Myanmar Airways International has IATA of 8M ICAO of UBA and callsign of UNIONAIR. How to change this list to reflect this? --Russavia 12:20, 20 May 2007 (UTC)

  • You just need to add an entry for the one that is missing. I just did that. I will note that is seems odd to have the ICAO codes and call sign shared. Vegaswikian 18:47, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
    • Sorry, thanks for adding it, I wasn't sure how to present it, so left it to you to make that call ;) Cheers --Russavia 07:22, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Are we sure? If they are different airlines and not different operating names of the same company they cant share the same ICAO Code and Callsign! according to ICAO Document 8585 Code UBA is listed as Myanama Airways. MilborneOne 21:07, 20 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Absolutely sure. Myanma Airways (note it doesn't have R in Myanma) is the old Burma Airways. It used to be international but it is now only domestic, basically a Burmese army airline. Myanmar Airways International (and in fact all Myanmar airlines) are either fully or majority owned by Myanma Airways, but are totally independent companies. Myanmar Airways International used to fly with the code UB, which belongs to Myanma Airways, but now operates with 8M. The ICAO code and callsigns have not changed at all. Don't know why this is, but is probably due to Myanma Airways only flying domestic, and MAI only flying international. There is a lot of confusion with these 2 airlines, which is evident by looking at their articles (I just started the Myanma Airways one), even Flight International had no idea as to what the MAI fleet was, quoting both airlines' fleet as MAI. Also, you might want to bookmark this site, as I am using it over (due it not being updated all that often). Website is --Russavia 07:21, 21 May 2007 (UTC)
OK I understand what you have said, I still stand by the fact that two organisations cant have the same code, perhaps the Myanmar authorities have just ignored the ICAO rules. Perhaps the domestic flights just use the IATA code for business which is OK. Would agree that is a good site I use it all the time for ICAO24 codes, but I use for codes and callsigns as it an official not an amateur site.MilborneOne 11:43, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

Note that Myanmar Airways International now has a different ICAO code MMA. MilborneOne 11:57, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Airline codes was updated. Note any editor can update the table with updated or new information. BTW, anyone know if the call signs for those airlines are correct? Right now they both show being the same. Vegaswikian 18:53, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
MMA does not appear to have a callsign allocated in ICAO 8585 Edition 140 and the callsign is marked + which indicates assignment postponed (which I think means callsign to be allocated later). MilborneOne 19:23, 15 July 2007 (UTC)


This page is huge in terms of file size and took about 30 seconds to load on my work broadband computer. I know its nice to have it all on one page but the size makes it pretty inaccessible.Madmedea 09:41, 24 May 2007 (UTC)

This information was broken down into lots of different pages for IATA Codes, ICAO Codes and callsigns, it has only just been created as a "large file" to try and better organise the information and allow it to be "sorted" on different elements. If anybody has a suggestion to break it up again without losing the link between the different threads then perhaps it should be discussed here. But I would suggest you are never going to satisfy everbody whatever way you choose. MilborneOne 11:50, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
I can understand that this might be a difficult one, but the usability of the information is seriously compromised by the fact that some users will not be able to actually load the page. The simplist way to split it would be to use the alphabetical ordering by Airline or company which is currently used in the table and split it up by letter groups. But I'm very open to any other ideas.Madmedea 12:29, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
When the data was combined we found a lot of errors that had existed when the data was in multiple places. So there is justification for having it all on one page. In order to be able to view the data sorted by the various codes, which many users want, it needs to be displayed as one page. The data could be split out so that editing is faster, but that will not help the viewing times. A 300K file should download in about 5 seconds on a 512K line which is about the slowest broadband line (300,000*8/512,000). Any split solution needs to address the data accuracy problem. Vegaswikian 23:07, 24 May 2007 (UTC)
OK, I think I know how we can do this. Create subpages with the raw data sorted by airline name for each letter of the alphabet and one for the numbered airlines, 27 subpages. Then convert the main page to transclude all of the subpages. That gives us what we have now. Then create a navigation template that links to a page for the each of the subpages that would include some text and the table definition code so that the raw data would display correctly. This would allow a user to look at a group of airlines by name or as the complete list and sort it in several ways. So the full list would be available when needed and shorter lists would be available if someone only wanted to see a subset of the airlines. Vegaswikian 08:02, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm not a techie but the above suggestion sounds good. I know a 300k file should download in the time given above - or more quickly with higher broadband speeds - but I find in reality you never get the times you're meant to...Madmedea 09:11, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
I have timed it and it does take about 5 seconds. The balance of the time is spent in the browser doing something. I'll work on setting up the split over the weekend. I need to do some testing to make sure that it works. It will take a while to split the airlines off into pages sorted by name. Once I start getting the extra pages set up, then anyone can help with the sorting and splitting. Vegaswikian 20:53, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Does this mean we lose the ability to look up by ICAO or IATA code or callsign ? or do we have to look through 27 pages ?.MilborneOne 21:41, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
No. If you look at Airline codes-Z you will see all of the airline names that start with Z using the same layout as the main page, Airline codes. Both of those include the same subpage for the list of airlines. So just change the list of z airlines and the change will appear in both places. After I do a few more, I'll add a navigation template to allow you to select one or all from any of the pages. Airline codes will still display what is there today, you can also select airlines that begin with a letter of the alphabet. Vegaswikian 22:07, 25 May 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, understood, looks like it could work.MilborneOne
OK I have this partially set up. Take a look at Airline codes-Z. The Y and Z pages are complete, still splitting out the As. The only issue I see is how to set this up so that you can edit the sub pages directly. Suggestions? Vegaswikian 08:07, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
I see you have header and footer templates set up with a template for each letter's airlines. I would suggest starting each of the templates containing the actual lists with a row-spanning header, which would contain the letter and a link to edit that letter's list. It would read, for example, Z [edit]. BTW, IATA Airline Designators is an indirect redirect. Morgan Wick 10:46, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
I used the full code, but you could use {{edit}}. Morgan Wick 11:11, 31 May 2007 (UTC)
Looks like a slow loader and would suggest split according to sections of alphabet to speed up. Consider that somebody searching for will search under F for Fly and W for Whoosh. The airline calls itself Whoosh but, like Zoom, is popularly known with its Fly title also. No problem if the ICAO codes can quickly be looked up. I suggest DEFAULT presentation should be ICAO 3 letter codes - especially as some airlines like Whoosh and do not appear to have a known IATA 4 letter code. Reference by alphabetical NAME is just great. All the sites I know to date are not up to date on ICAO codes. Super work. Garigolf 14:11, 06 Jul 2007 (UTC)
Vegaswikian - I checked out your Z link. Absolutely super. Especially as the click/sort facility allows one to get results according to Alpha, ICAO, IATA or Country order. Still suggest default be Alpha with this wort set up. Good work. Garigolf 14:15, 06 Jul 2007 (UTC)
The default will be alpha. This is a two step process. The first is creating the template for each letter of the alphabet. I think that 5 are now done, including the two largest. For the second step, these still need to be arranged in alphabetical order. The other letter templates still need to be created and the entries moved over. This is a slow process with a lot of cut and pasting. I do these whenever I have some time. Now that the combined file is smaller, and loads more quickly for editing, it is becoming a bit easier to do. Vegaswikian 18:45, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Yes please. The page bogs the mediawiki server so much that it takes ages to download, and then the huge table gives my browser a hard time. Splitting the table into sections would probably alleviate the second problem. Han-Kwang 23:28, 11 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm still working on this as time permits. Since the splitting requires searching through the file to find the items to move, it takes a while. It is a lot of cut and paste work that is not something I'm jumping at doing. I'll try and do one or two more tonight. If anyone wants to just create the sub templates, feel free to do so. If you are not sure how to add the page for the template, just drop a note here and someone should be able to create the new article page. Vegaswikian 02:15, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
This also brings up a question. When the splitting is finished, should the default be to load the entire table or let the reader select a single letter to load? Vegaswikian 02:15, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
I wrote a small perl-script to sort the table. Output at Talk:Airline codes/sorted temp. There might be an occasional error if there are non-ascii characters or ambiguous names (i didn't check), but I hope this saves you a lot of boring work. I'd say default to a fast-loading index, not the full table. Han-Kwang 06:09, 12 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks. All of the sub pages have been created. The All subpage has a few more that need to be moved around, the odds and ends from your output. Vegaswikian 07:23, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

İnfinite flight Tuklkhjnio (talk) 12:46, 27 February 2016 (UTC)

Entry cleanup[edit]

OK, the split is finished. In going through this, it looks like there is a lot of cleanup remaining, This includes items like:

  • RAF or Royal Air Force
  • for the RAF entries how to list for the various locations and names
  • fix links so that they go to a name following convention, so drop the inc. in the links
  • Move comments from the company name to comments
  • cleanup the airline name where it includes multiple names
  • Maybe change all of the foreign language names to their common English names leaving the foreign language in comments
  • All of the United States entries, various departments and the Army and coast guard and...

If anyone has the time... Vegaswikian 19:22, 12 July 2007 (UTC)

Now the pages are hidden how do we edit the source pages please.MilborneOne 19:30, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Someone else moved them to templates since the bots kept trying to tag them as articles requiring cleanup and notabiltiy and several other tags. To edit one like the M section just edit Template:Airline codes/M. If you have a suggestion for including this on the page, please offer one. The ones I have are not what I consider workable, but then they may be better then nothing. Vegaswikian 20:07, 15 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks for the explanation, I was sure I had edited them before ! MilborneOne 20:23, 15 July 2007 (UTC)

Call sign confusion confusion[edit]

The following statement is absolute nonsense:

"Call sign confusion happens when two or more flights with similar flight numbers fly close to each other, i.e. KL645 and KL649 or BA466 and BA646".

This is nonsense for a number of reasons. For a start non of these identifiers is a call sign. A call sign is composed of the ICAO airline code, followed by a 4 digit octal code (with the series beginning with '7' being reserved for various emergencies such as depressurisation, hijack or radio failure) . The 4 digit code is determined when the flight plan is filed. It may, or may not remain the same for the entire flight, but it may also change for every sector that the aircraft enters (or anything in between). Whilst every attempt is made to keep the changes to a minimum (not least to minimise the the work of the pilots in changing the code), changes are nonetheless required in flight. It will depend on which numbers are already in use in the sectors that the aircraft enters, and which are already in use in other sectors under the same (or bordering) authority . Call sign confusion will have nothing to do with the closeness of the aircraft. Confusion could be caused if an aircraft enters a territory, and there is another in a different sector in the same territory which is squawking the same code. This may not always cause confusion, but it may and the aircraft may be hundreds of miles apart.

In short, the call sign exists primarily for air traffic control purposes.

Myredroom (talk) 10:18, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Callsigns are not 4 digit octal codes I think you may be confusing callsign with the transponder code. MilborneOne (talk) 13:28, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

In the world of ATC that I was exposed to, the word callsign always referred to the ICAO airine id plus the transponder code. I can accept that different user groups in the field derive different meaning from the same thing. This article itself does exactly this.; on the one hand it suggests that words like "speedbird" represent the callsign, and on the other it suggests that BA646 is a call sign. Myredroom (talk) 14:02, 28 February 2008 (UTC)

Commercial airlines identify flights with the two digit IATA code and 1-4 numbers. When air traffic control contacts these aircraft, they use the call sign followed by the numeric part of the flight number. So say they are trying to contact AA9876, air traffic would call American 9876. On the radar screens, I believe, that the flight would show as AA9876 and that is tracked by the four character sqwak code that is assigned to the transponder and that transponder code could change. Now from your comment, an article probably needs to be updated. Vegaswikian (talk) 00:40, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

On all the radar screens I have seen (KARLDAP, MADAP), the "call sign" (as it was always referred to) displayed on (mode charlie) tracks was ICAO code plus transponder code. The IATA code made no appearance, not even on the flight strips. In the control room where I often found myself, communication with pilots was largely using ICAO code, with the frequent exception of Speedbird and Lufthansa and maybe one or two others (but dependent on the controller). Whilst a flight is active in a sector the IATA flight number has little meaning to the controller. Newer systems may vary, but in the world that I saw callsign uneqivocally referred to ICAO plus transponder code. Myredroom (talk) 04:53, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Well, I guess I need to arrange for that control tower tour! In any case, it appears that there may be multiple uses of the phrase call sign. The way it has been used here is mostly for the radio call signs as in my example above. You are identifying another use. Vegaswikian (talk) 08:23, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
In the ATC system how does the 4-digit octal cope with alpha-numeric callsigns (Like "BAW4NQ") ? MilborneOne (talk) 12:17, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
My understanding is that they do a mapping equating the assigned code to the call sign. So when you are getting ready to talk off, ATC assigns you a squawk code that you dial in. The system converts that to the aircraft call sign so that the ATC and the pilot use the call sign which for GA aircraft is usually the registration number and radar can track by the call sign. Are these assignments different in various parts of the world? If so, clearly we need an article to explain this to avoid confusion. Can any current pilots out there chime in? Vegaswikian (talk) 19:50, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Nothing really to do with this article then - transponder codes are described in Transponder (aviation) and related articles. MilborneOne (talk) 20:52, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
Sorry the octal transponder code has nothing to do with the callsign and is not the same thing. When the ATC system first receives the octal code from the secondary radar it looks up the callsign in the flight planning computer and presents the aircraft radio callsign onto the radar screen. This presents the controller with the info he need to communicate by radio with the aircraft as described by Vegaswikian. So it is possible to get callsign confusion and have two aircraft American 52 or United 52 on at the same time. In Europe alpha numeric callsigns have been introduced to avoid this type of confusion. Thus the radio callsign does not allways agree with the timetabled flight number. Ryanair Flight RYR556 from Dublin to Manchester uses the radio callsign RYR5XA. MilborneOne (talk) 15:55, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

Cleanup coding[edit]

The way this page and all other code pages is, to me, confusing and hard to edit for the general user. I'd like to propose a new way to do it. Instead of Airline codes-All being made up of three template, Template:Airline codes/All being made up of many sub templates, and Airline codes-A being made up of 3 transcluded template (the main one {{Airline codes/A}} being the one that needs to be edited most, but is the most incomprehensible one to look at) the information on table should be on the page. The information will transclude to the main list (Airline codes-All) in exactly the same way, but we can also remove the need for Template:Airline codes/All and all other letter templates. Specifically, this is what I mean:

{{Airline codes/Page top}}
{{Airline codes/All}}
{{Airline codes/Page bottom}}


{{Airline codes/Page top}}
{{Airline codes-0-9}}
{{Airline codes-A}}
{{Airline codes-B}}
{{Airline codes/Page bottom}}
{{Airline codes/Page top}}
{{Airline codes/A}}
{{Airline codes/Page bottom}}


<noinclude>{{Airline codes/Page top}}</noinclude>
|[[Ansett Australia]]
|[[Alrosa Mirny Air Enterprise]]
<noinclude>{{Airline codes/Page bottom}}

Yes, the pages get a little longer (well, a lot longer) but all the templates {{Airline codes/0-9}} thru {{Airline codes/Z}} can be eliminated and deleted. The data will then be easier to see and edit. This may sound confusing, but it's currently being done at List of airports in the United States. - Trevor MacInnis (Contribs) 21:57, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

Editing has always been a problem. The current structure evolved over disputes over notability when the data was split out to using templates rather then articles and then only having the template used in one article. So if the appearance is about the same and it would be easier to edit, I don't see a problem. If you can also check the sort order by airline name at the same time, that would be great. Vegaswikian (talk) 02:39, 3 August 2008 (UTC)
Conversion complete, nobody should notice a thing, but the lists are now much easier to access to edit. - Trevor MacInnis (Contribs) 21:24, 3 August 2008 (UTC)

Bad sport[edit]

Based on an analogy to the "don't change American-English spelling to English-English or vice versa just because you favour one over the other" -rule, the Retaining the existing variety, (see WP:ENGVAR) I think this should be undone:

Formerly very active, now only occasional editor (talk) 17:31, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Reverted it back - nothing to do with engvar it is just an example with no reason to change it. MilborneOne (talk) 17:38, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Decoding Table[edit]

Is anyone in favour of a decoding table for IATA airline codes, like the one found here for country codes?

A table for IATA codes would have to be bigger, as some airlines have numbers in their codes as well.

26 letters + 10 numbers (0-9) = 36, 36^2 = 1296 combinations, or, if "0" isn't, or cannot be, used, then:

26 + 9 = 35, 35^2 = 1225 combinations.

I certainly think such a table would give a nice overview of IATA airline codes, however, is there a chance that such a table might be "too big" and, consequently, slow down browsers? (talk) 07:43, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

  • Ok, I've started a table here. Anyone that has interest is invited to contribute. (talk) 07:30, 23 August 2009 (UTC)

SYX "Skywalk" error[edit]

SYX was originally Astral Aviation, Inc. d/b/a Skyway Airlines; later Skyway Airlines, Inc., d/b/a Midwest Connect. Regional airline service for Midwest Airlines, Milwaukee WI. Never "Skywalk." Thanks for the correction. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mikepurves (talkcontribs) 22:00, 19 September 2012 (UTC)

Here is a reference to confirm the above:

Mikepurves (talk) 21:06, 24 September 2012 (UTC)

Historic Callsigns?[edit]

Should this article contain historic usage of callsigns?

I see that there are a good number of airlines that have ceased operation or merged with another, but on the other hand there are plenty that are listed that no longer exist.

I think it creates confusion to have defunct airlines with duplicate callsigns. Maybe those could be split off into a historic callsigns or just removed entirely if another airline is using the callsign/ICAO code.Ksevio (talk) 22:04, 26 July 2013 (UTC)

Why is this any different than a dab page? To remove it completely removes history. Vegaswikian (talk) 22:18, 26 July 2013 (UTC)
There are hundreds (thousands?) of airline codes missing. Probably about a few hundred articles just on Wikipedia relating to airlines not listed here. Having the up-to-date codes can be useful, but a lot more work needs to go into this if it's to include the full list of all callsigns ever. To put it in perspective, there are about 5,800 here and about 6,500 ACTIVE callsigns. Ksevio (talk) 01:13, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
That's one problem with lists. They are generally never completed. The red links show how many airline articles are missing. That said some of those airlines may not be notable enough to have an article, so the only information we may keep on them is in the list. Vegaswikian (talk) 05:13, 27 July 2013 (UTC)
I used to keep the old callsign/code list up to date but since it changed to the big sortable tables with everything in it a few years ago be honest it is just to difficult to maintain. Perhaps we need to think about going back to the original alphabetic lists. MilborneOne (talk) 09:26, 27 July 2013 (UTC)

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