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Flight Number Suffixes

Old 24th Mar 2009, 23:21
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Flight Number Suffixes

Just a quick question regarding flight numbers and the letter suffixes at the end of them, I'm just wondering if anyone could tell me what they mean or point me in the right direction towards finding out for myself.
An example of what I mean:

EZY367P* - Positioning flight, yes?
(*Made up number)

I'm just wondering if there are anymore, I'm sure I've seen an SG flight number suffix as well? I'm really not sure at all. Just wondering thats all, there must be others for training flights etc etc then again I could be wrong.

Any info appreciated, cheers guys.
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Old 24th Mar 2009, 23:58
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Ours usually ADB1234 (LOADED) ADB123F (EMPTY FERRY)

Veeps
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Old 25th Mar 2009, 00:31
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Some flight numbers (I've noticed this in the business jet world especially) end in 2 letters specific to either the registration of the aircraft.

e.g. G-ABCD has a flight number XYZ 123CD

or end in 2 letters specific to the airport that it is flying to:

e.g. Flight to Nice, LFMN. XYZ 123MN

Not sure how widespead these are, especially in larger operations.
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Old 25th Mar 2009, 11:23
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So why do some airlines use the same flight number with a different suffix for the outbound and return legs?

Eg: TCX234K = MAN-CUN TCX234L = CUN-MAN

Any reason why not 234 & 235? In the callsign is it just referred to as Kestrel 234 (since only one leg could be in operation at a time) or do they have to say Kestrel 234 Kilo, which just takes up more time, even if only another second or so?

I remember the Thomson 'mayday' incident with bird ingestion at MAN was something like "Thomson XXX Hotel" which then became "Mayday XXX Hotel".
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Old 25th Mar 2009, 13:56
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I can understand the leg suffixes and I guess thats just down to the operators procedures etc but are there none that are specific for certain tasks of the flights?
Training, test flights among others. I just saw one with SG or something, and people I were talking to assumed that that was a new aircraft to be based up at Newcastle. I just don't know how they could assume that unless they understand the suffixes.
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Old 25th Mar 2009, 16:42
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Now, I'm no expert; but it would appear that at busier airports where the possibility of flights with similar fight numbers can happen, that the use of alpha numeric flight "numbers" would help to reduce confusion and add to clarity of RT.

That said, from what I can gather, sometimes Papa are positioning, Foxtrot are ferry and Tango are training, but not always. There are one or two other suffixes used by military a/c.

Aer Arann, appear to use suffixes to indicate the origin airport of their flights.

JAS
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Old 25th Mar 2009, 23:18
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We use a number of different suffixes, depending on what the flight is, where it's coming from etc.

for example, an empty positioning flight will be XXX123P and circuit training training flight XXX123T.

Sometimes, if there is going to be another aircraft in the same area of sky en-route with a similar call sign, we may add a M (if the aircraft is from Manchester) or a G (if it's from Gatwick).

Also, if the company have filed a flight plan for XXX456 but have to file another one, to avoid a slot for example, they may add a suffix letter to that to differentiate it from the old flight plan, eg XXX456M

...and yes, Thomas Cook do say the full callsign with Kilo or Lima on the end.

The guys in ops are the best ones to ask!
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Old 26th Mar 2009, 00:09
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Britannia used BYxxxA for the outbound and BYxxxB for the return flight. Then First Choice used FCAxxxC and FCAxxxD in the same vein on their charter services only. Finally Thomas Cook went for TCXxxxK and TCXxxxL.

A lot of UK domestic flights use alpha numeric callsigns rather than the flight number, think BA's "Shuttle" and easyJet and BMI are similar. Come to think of it Eastern are too with FlyBe getting there as well.
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Old 26th Mar 2009, 08:49
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The use of combined numbers and letters in callsigns is to comply with safety recommendations made by the CAA some years ago to avoid RT confusion with flight levels etc. My airline is yet to waken up to this despite suffering from callsign clashes

Suffixes of T for training, P for positioning etc. are purely at the discretion and personal preference of the airline and need not follow prescribed designators as such.
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Old 26th Mar 2009, 10:24
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I remember many moons ago flying with Airtours - AIHxxxG and AIHxxxH were theirs...
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Old 26th Mar 2009, 13:56
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As a controller I can file a report on callsign confusion and in most instances the operators change the callsign fairly quickly - Ryanair and Flybe being the most recent, so that often throws a spanner in any callsign allocation sequence!
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Old 5th May 2009, 15:18
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Guys and Girls, sorry jo jump in but could I ask a question? Anybody know the callsign for BA's flight 15 from LHR-SIN? Obviously the flight number is BAW15, but what callsign does the flight go by? Is it Speedbird 15 for example?
If no-body knows is there any way I can find out? I've done a few searches in google but so far have been fruitless.
Much appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 5th May 2009, 15:27
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I don't know where SIN is, but BA15 sounds like a long haul flight so it will probably be Speedbird 15..
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Old 5th May 2009, 16:31
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BA(W)15 is the LHR-Singapore flight, callsign Speedbird 15.

Generally, with a few exceptions all BA flight numbers <300 ex LHR are LH, >300 are shorthaul.

For LHR LH, odd numbered flights are outbound, for SH, even numbered flights are inbound [due to historical BOAC/BEA conventions].

All LGW flights are in the 2nnn range eg BA2134.

Note: a Flight number of BAW123 will not necessarily be callsign Speedbird 123 as it may have been noted that similar callsigns may be on the same basic routing at the same time, in which case one may be changed to something like Speedbird 5HF to avoid confusion.

In LHR SH, there are some more generic rules that are becoming distorted over time.

BA3xx tended to be to France
BA4xx tended to be AMS and BRU
BA5xx ditto Italy
BA6xx
BA7xx Austria
BA8xx Eastern bloc
BA9xx Germany.

The Shuttle callsign was introduced in the mid 80's I believe, in the era of Colin Marshall and Shuttle backups - turn and guaranteed flights etc, and he original destinations were MAN (Shuttle 2x N'bound, Shuttle 3x S'Bound), BFS (Sht 4x and 5x), GLA (Sht 6x and 7x) and EDI (Sht 8x and 9x). More recently the ABZ and NCL flights have been added as SHT callsigns.

Note there was no SHT1x flights, presumably to avoid having a SH1T flight callsign
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Old 5th May 2009, 17:22
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The flight number is BA015.
The callsign is BAW15 which translates as "Speedbird 15"

SIN is the IATA code for Singapore. ICAO = WSSS.

So you have :

BA015 LHR-SIN
BAW15 EGLL-WSSS

....as you do.
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Old 5th May 2009, 18:20
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<<BAW15 EGLL-WSSS>>

Aaahh I feel all warm.. a language I understand! Thanks Skippy..
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