What are they?
An airline code is a group of letters that identify an airline. There are 2 systems: IATA codes and ICAO codes. The table below shows airline codes for the largest airlines in Asia.
How many letters?
IATA airline codes have 2 letters (or 1 number and 1 letter). For example, Singapore Airlines is SQ. ICAO airline codes have 3 letters. For example, Japan Airlines is JAL.
What are they used for?
IATA airline codes are used for reservations, tickets and flight information boards. ICAO airline codes are used for flight planning and air traffic control.
“This is a nasty, rotten business, and we've got to play to win.”
(Bob Crandall, CEO of American Airlines)