Aviation Logistics Knowledge Lecture – Codes

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Aviation Logistics Knowledge Lecture – Codes

Hello everyone. On this happy Friday, we ushered in a new lecture on aviation logistics introductory knowledge. This issue is about: code. Let’s add a little extra-curricular reading to our fun time.


In the airfreight industry, code is used in many places (this is not the code of programmers). For example, the airport’s three-character code (IATA code), the airport’s four-character code (ICAO code), the city’s three-character code, the airline’s two-character code, the code displayed on the waybill (such as fuel surcharge, security surcharge, etc.). In theory, these are very simple things (just a few letters). In fact, many small partners have also discovered that this seemingly simple problem is actually not simple.


So today, let’s discuss something about these codes.


Airport three-letter code

Every airport will have its own three-letter code. This three-letter code is registered with IATA. IATA is the abbreviation of International Air Transport Association: International Air Transport Association. The logo of IATA looks like this:

IATA logo

IATA logo


There is no uniform standard for the formulation of three-character codes. Some are abbreviations of the name of the local airport, some are the abbreviation of the name of the local city, and some are funny things that happened when they were named. For example, Hong Kong Airport HKG means HongKong Gateway, and Vietnam Ho Chi Minh Airport SGN, because Ho Chi Minh City used to be called Saigon (Saigon), so the airport three-character code is SGN, and then New York Airport JFK, the name of the airport is Kennedy Airport ( John F Kennedy), is the name of the New York airport.


The airport three-character code is the most basic thing for air carriers and must be remembered. There are many ways to remember. Careful friends, you can use the English name of the city or airport to help memorize, and at the same time, you can help yourself learn English. Of course, a more practical way is that when we use it a lot, we can naturally remember it. Here I think of many friends asking me how to learn English. Actually, I don’t have any good way. The only thing that can be said is, use more, practice more. In particular, you can use your favorite channels. For example, I like listening to music and watching movies. So I often listen to English songs and watch English movies. Well, that seems to be going too far… (Should I consider opening a class to teach English?). So memorizing the three-character code is the same as remembering English. It needs to be used and used again.


Closer to home, after we have memorized the airport code, we also need to pay attention to be sure to distinguish between the airport code and the city code. Some friends will think that these two codes are the same, but they are not necessarily. To give a very simple example, the city code of Beijing is BJS, but the airport code is PEK. There is also the often misused three-letter code for the airport: Stockholm, Sweden. The three-character code for the airport is ARN, and many friends mistake it for STO. In fact, STO is just a city code.


As a professional air freight practitioner, the use of these codes must be standardized. Besides, the air waybill is marked with the airport code. If it is wrong, it will not affect the understanding, but it is embarrassing. We can’t afford to lose this person, can we? Therefore, everyone must pay attention to the standardized usage of the airport three-character code.


The airport three-character code is used by our airmen, but the airport also has a four-character code. For example, the ARN mentioned above, her four-character code is ESSA. This four-character code is called the ICAO code. ICAO’s full name is International Civil Aviation Organization. It is the International Civil Aviation Organization. ICAO’s logo looks like this:




However, we generally do not need to know this four-character code. Because this code is usually used more for passenger transport. For our freight, the most commonly used three-letter code of IATA.


Airline two-letter code

Each airline will have its own two-letter code, which is unique. In other words, there will not be two LHs in this world.


Domestic airlines, we have heard more about China Southern Airlines (CZ), Air China (CA), China Eastern Airlines (MU), Hainan Airlines (HU), etc., and more foreign airlines, such as Lufthansa (LH), Air France (AF), Qatar Airways (QR), Emirates (EK), Etihad Airways (EY), Singapore Airlines (SQ), Thai Airways (TG), etc. Even some privately contracted aircraft have two-letter codes. Many times, when the airport tower calls the captain, this two-character code is also used to call the flight.


The probability of the two-character code appearing is quite high. In the ULD mentioned in the previous article, the last two letters of each ULD are the two-character code of the airline company. The two English letters in front of each flight number are also the two-letter code of the airline, such as EY001. There is also no good way to memorize the two-character code of the airline company, just memorize it well. Of course, this information can also be found at any time on the Internet.


Having said so much dry content, it’s time to give everyone a gift. There are many two-character codes and three-character codes on the Internet. But I looked at it, and many of them are not standardized or incomplete. So, how do we find it? To find these contents, you must go to the most authoritative place – IATA official website. Here you can find airport codes and airline codes. I have helped you find this link, copy the address below, open it in a browser, and you can go directly to the IATA official website. No thanks for taking it.



Other common codes

In addition to the IATA Code and ICAO Code mentioned above, we can usually see many different codes. Such as FSC, SSC, MYC, MSC, etc. There are a lot of these codes, so I won’t discuss them one by one here, let’s just talk about these few.


Although there are four codes here, in fact, there are only two meanings:

FSC=MYC=Fuel ​​Surchage=Fuel ​​Surchage

SSC=MSC=Security Surcharge=Security Surcharge


Fuel and safety are charges almost every airline charges. But not all airlines charge the same fees. In theory, airlines have the right to set the price of these two surcharges themselves. However, it will also be subject to some restrictions by the local government. For example, in Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and other places, the fuel surcharge is uniformly regulated by the local Civil Aviation Administration. The airline’s own price cannot be implemented. In mainland China, even in the same place, the fuel surcharges of different airlines are mostly different.


And because these surcharges will change from time to time, we usually explain the ++ price when talking to the airline company, which is usually called net rate, and “++” means adding two surcharges. meaning of cost. Everyone here must be clear. Of course, this is only understood and implemented by people in the industry. When dealing with customers, it is impossible for the customer to take out a computer and calculate it. Therefore, when it is reported to the customer, it is the All-in price. But these two distinctions must be clearly distinguished, otherwise there will be very troublesome consequences. What if you lose money? You can’t say “I don’t know the difference between ++ and all-in”, right? Do you think the bosses can accept this reason?


There are some other codes, such as AWC, etc., which we can also master through practice. AWC means: Airway Bill Charge = bill of lading fee.


I wrote this here, I originally wanted to end it, after all, it is too long for everyone to read, and it will delay the weekend time of my friends. But it’s all written here, and I feel a little overwhelmed… Well, let’s talk about a few more codes.


MSAW: Missing Airway Bill – Missing Airway Bill

FDAW: Found Airway Bill – Found Airway Bill (Received a waybill that does not belong to this place)

DIS: Discrepancy – Irregular Shipping

MSCA: Missing Cargo – Missing Cargo

FDCA: Found Cargo – Found Cargo (received goods that do not belong to this place)

DEP: Departure – Departure/Departure

ARR: Arrival – Arrival / Arrival

DOW: Day of Week – the day of the week (eg, DOW: Wednesday)

A/C: Aircraft – aircraft

ORI: Origin – origin

DES: Destination – destination


Emmmm…. There are many, many other codes, let’s talk about it.


Alright, that’s it for this lecture. Thank you all for your patience. See you next time.


NB: Karron is the owner of the “NatureCalls” Wechat Official Account.

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