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May 14, 2012

Back TZ The Future: Singapore’s Scoot to Resurrect IATA Code of ATA

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Scoot executives pose with a model Boeing 777 with a full-size version in the background. (Photo by Scoot)

Scoot, the new no frills, long-haul carrier launched by Singapore Airlines, says the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has assigned it a new two-character flight designator code: TZ.

TZ, many may recall, was the code used by ATA Airlines, aka American Trans Air, the Indianaoplis-based carrier that went under in 2008.

Scoot had originally been assigned the code OQ, but according to an email sent to travel agents on Sunday, the IATA “encountered unforeseen technicalities with the previously assigned code.” The technicalities were not explained, but could be the simple fact that the letter O might be confused with the number 0.

Q’s can also be trouble thanks to their similarity to O’s and 0’s, though Scoot’s parent company, Singapore Airlines, seems to do alright with its SQ code.

Scoot is set to begin operations this June, initially using four ex-Singapore Boeing 777-200ER aircraft. Based at Singapore’s Changi Airport, destinations will include Tianjin in China, Gold Coast and Sydney in Australia and Bangkok.

ATA filed for bankruptcy and halted operations in April 2008 after losing a well-paying military charter contract. In addition to being one of the country’s largest charter carriers, ATA had operated a total of 29 aircraft on a variety of scheduled routes. ATA’s remnants were purchased by Southwest Airlines, primarily to obtain its lucrative New York LaGuardia Airport slots.

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