Australian Company Callsigns

For ease of use in radio-telephony, most airlines and some other operators have a company callsign allocated to them. In radio-telephony, the callsign for a particular flight is made up of the company designator followed by the flight number - e.g. 'Qantas 123'. For international operations up until about 1956 the callsign on initial contact consisted of the airline callisign followed by the full five-letter aircraft registration - e.g. 'Qantas Victor How Easy Able George'. Subsequently, it coud be abbreviated to the company callsign and the last two letters of the registration.

For domestic operations in the early 1950s, the company callsign could be followed by the last three letters of the aircraft's registration - e.g. 'Transair Tare Able Dog'. Alternatively and up until the late 1990s, domestic airline operations used just the aircraft registration as the callsign - e.g. 'Romeo Mike Alpha'. Since the late 1990s many domestic airlines have started using flight number callsigns. As at 2003 Qantas uses registration callsigns for mainline domestic flights and flight number callsigns for all other flights.

Click here to see the old and modern phonetic alphabets.

The table below lists all the known airline company and operator callsigns for Australian operators. It should be noted that although a callsign may have been allocated, it may seldom if ever have actually been used.


34 Squadron RAAFENVOY
Adastra Airways LtdADASTRA
Aerial MissionsMISSIONAIR
Aeropelican Air Services Pty LtdPELICAN
Aero-tropics Air ServicesAIRTROPIC
Aircrew Check and Training AustraliaAIRCREW
Airlines (WA) LtdWESTERN
Airlines of New South WalesNEWSOUTH
Airlines of South AustraliaALSA
Alliance Airlines Pty LtdALLIANCE
Ansett Airways LtdANSETT
Associated AirlinesASSOCIATED
Australian Aerial PatrolAIR PAT
Australian AirlinesAUSTRALIAN
Australian CustomsCOASTWATCH
Australian National Airways Pty Ltd, later Ansett-ANAAUSTAIR
Brain and Brown Air FreightersBRAVOAIR
Brown and Dureau LtdBROWN
Bureau of Mineral ResourcesMINERALS
Bush Church Aid SocietyMEDICAL
Bush Pilots Airways Pty LtdBUSH
Butler Air Transport Pty LtdBUTLER
Cape Air TransportCAT
Central Queensland Aviation CollegeCOLLEGE
Cirrus Airlines Pty LtdCIRRUS
Commonwealth Bank of AustraliaCOMBANK
Connellan AirwaysCONNELLAN
Department of Civil AviationCIVIL
East-West Airlines Pty LtdEASTWEST
Eastern Australia AirlinesEASTERN
Flinders Island Airlines (c.1950s)FLINDERS
Flying Doctor Services of AustraliaAIRDOCTOR
Froggy Corporate AviationFROGGY
Gibbes Sepik Airways LtdSEPAIR
Guinea Airways LtdGUINEA
Horizon AirlinesHORIZON
Impulse AirlinesIMPULSE, later QANTAS then JETSTAR
Jet Fighter Flights Pty LtdRAZOR or PARROT
Jetstar AirwaysJETSTAR
Kendell AirlinesKENDELL
Lifeflight Pty LtdLIFEFLIGHT
Macair AirlinesMACAIR
MacRoberton-Miller Aviation Co LtdMILLER
Mandated Airlines LtdMANDATED
National Jet ExpressJETEX
North Australian Aviation ServiceNORTHAUS
Nor-West Whaling Co LtdNORWEST
O'Connor AirlinesO'CONNOR
Outback 2002 LtdOUTBACK
Pacific Aviation (Australasia) Pty LtdPACAV
Papuan Air TransportPATAIR
Qantas Empire Airways Ltd, later Qantas Airways LtdQANTAS
Queensland Airways Pty LtdQUEENSLAND
Regional ExpressREX
Royal Australian Air ForceAUSFORCE, later AUSSIE*
Royal Australian NavyAUSNAV
Somerset AirwaysSOMAIR
Southern Airways Pty LtdSOUTHERN
Southern Australia AirlinesSOUTHERN
Thiess Bros Pty LtdTHIESS
Trans-Australian AirlinesTRANSAIR
Trans-Australian Air CargoAUSCARGO
Virgin Blue AirlinesVIRGIN
Zinc Corporation LtdCITY

In addition, the callsign prefixes 'PRIVATE' and 'TRAINER' were approved (c.1955) for aircraft in those categories should the need to use them arise.

* Note: AUSSIE is a callsign used for international operations only.

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