Airlines sometimes choose an unusual call sign for their pilots to use in communication with ATC. Most airlines use a pretty standard call sign. For example, Helvetic Airways use the word Helvetic, Air Canada use Air Canada, Alitalia use Alitalia, Alaska Airlines use Alaska and so on. These call signs are so easy that everyone monitoring an ATC radio frequency would know who is who.

Sometimes a call sign is related to another aspect of the airline or its livery. This is why we have something like Shamrock for Aer Lingus or Speedbird for British Airways.

The call signs below are the most unusual call signs we could find.

Dynasty – China Airlines

Glacier – Central Mountain Air

Cactus – US Airways

Big Bird – NokScoot Airlines

Citrus – AirTran Airways

Waterski – Trans States Airlines

Viking – Thomas Cook Airlines Scandinavia

Redwood – Virgin America

Polar Bear – Fast Air

Brickyard – Republic Airlines

Empress – Canadian North

Dragon – Hong Kong Dragon Airlines

Blue Streak – PSA Airlines

Shamrock – Aer Lingus

Sasquatch – SeaPort Airlines

Speedbird – British Airways

Critter – ValuJet

Springbok – South African Airlines

Hawaii Five-O – Hawaiian Airlines

Smart Cat – TigerAir Taiwan

Skylab – LabCorp

Xanadu – AirAsia X

Clipper – Pan American World Airways

Velocity – Virgin Australia

Jedi – Jet Story

Giant – Atlas Air

Jetset – First Choice Airways

Moonflower – Neos

Glory – UNI Airways Corporation (Taiwan)

Did we miss any? It is interesting to see some variation from the standard call sign. A bit of creativity is never a bad thing.


  1. Why does everyone always forget about the best of them all? German company HapagLLoyd Express (HLX), who had a yellow-checkerboard-lightgrey paint scheme. Callsign: Yellow Cab


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