Decoding MH370/Codes and Abbreviations

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Flight MH370 - Codes and Abbreviations


The International Air Transport Association (IATA) allocates codes to identify airlines, flights and airports. IATA codes are generally used on passenger documents.

Codes allocated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) are generally used by air traffic control and airline companies' internal documentation.

In the transcripts of voice communications to and from flight MH370 and in the 'data logs' some official codes have been abbreviated, or other abbreviations have been used.

This article lists and explains some of the more common codes or abbreviations used.


  1. Malaysia Airlines flight MH370

    • MH - MH is the IATA code for Malaysia Airlines.
    • MH370 - The IATA code for a Malaysia Airlines flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. (The return flight was MH371).
    • Malaysian 370 - Air traffic controllers used the term Malaysian 370 instead of MH370.
    • MAS 370 - Malaysia Airlines was known as Malaysia Airline Systems or MAS. The transcripts of ground to air radio communications between air traffic controllers and the aircraft identify MH370 as MAS 370.
    • Flight 370 - An unofficial term meaning Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370


  2. China Southern Airlines flight CZ748

    Many of the passengers travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had purchased tickets through China Southern Airlines for flight CZ748. The two airlines were 'code share partners'. CZ is the IATA code for China Southern Airlines.


  3. Airport Codes

    • KLIA - An abbreviation for Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
    • KUL - The three-letter airport code for Kuala Lumpur International Airport, allocated by the International Air Transport Association, and used on passenger documentation.
    • PEK - The three-letter airport code for Beijing Capital International Airport, allocated by the International Air Transport Association, and used on passenger documentation. Beijing was formerly known as Peking.
    • KULPEK - From Kuala Lumpur to Beijing (Peking)
    • WMKK - The four-letter code for Kuala Lumpur International Airport, allocated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and used by air traffic controllers.
    • ZBAA - The four-letter code for Beijing Capital International Airport, allocated by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, and used by air traffic controllers.
    • WMKKZBAA - From Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.


  4. The Aircraft: a Boeing 777-200ER

    • 777-200 - There are several variants of the Boeing 777 series aircraft.Boeing 777-200 is a passenger aircraft.
    • 777-200ER - ER means 'Extended Range'.
    • B777 - An abbreviation for any Boeing 777 aircraft but used, for example, in ACARS messages for MH370 sent to the B777 Cockpit Printer.
    • B772 - An ICAO abbreviation for a Boeing 777-200 series aircraft.
    • 9M-MRO - The Boeing 777-200ER operated by Malaysia Airlines and used for flight MH370 was registered in Malaysia (code 9M) with a unique registration number 9M-MRO.