We know about famous airlines like Pan Am or TWA that have vanished into the mists of legend (translation: they don’t fly anymore). These are the carriers that are gone but will never be forgotten. However, there are hundreds of much smaller now-defunct carriers that we never heard about in the first place but are worth remembering because they had such great names.
LISTEN Rick Seaney is all over these weird names.
And now, allow me to introduce you to some quirky airlines you’ll never fly*.
Quirky Airline Names
Names to make you say, what the heck?
- 1time (South Africa – it is said to mean either “for real!” or “quick and easy”)
- Albatros Air (Albania)
- Buzz (United Kingdom)
- Cosmic Air (Nepal)
- FlyMe (Sweden – which reminds us of National’s old ads, “I’m Cheryl. Fly me.”)
- One-Two-GO Airlines (Thailand)
- SAT Airlines (Russia – which might disturb high school students)
Cutesy Airline Names
You can see where kids might like some of these.
- Dandy Air (Bulgaria)
- DutchBird (Netherlands)
- Peach Air (United Kingdom)
- Polar Air (Finland)
- Princess Airlines (United Kingdom)
- Snowflake (Denmark)
- Song (U.S. – a spinoff of Delta Air Lines)
- Ted (U.S. – a spinoff of United Airlines)
- Teddy (Norway)
Colorful Airline Names
Maybe some of these are the forerunners of our own JetBlue.
- Air Bleu (France)
- Air Turquoise (France – seeing a pattern here?)
- Amber Air (Lithuania)
- Golden Air (Slovenia)
- Silverjet (United Kingdom)
Airlines of Legend and Literature
Ancient myths that once prowled the skies.
- Excalibur Airlines (United Kingdom)
- Flying Finn (Finland, of course)
- Gandalf Airlines (Italy) [Can't you just picture Ian McKellen in the cockpit?]
And the following four airlines once graced the skies over Greece:
- Cronus (Zeus’ dad)
- Electra (of the Pleiades)
- Apollo (famously handsome sun god)
- Venus (Kind of a ringer, actually, since Venus was a Roman goddess but perhaps they couldn’t fit the name of the Grecian goddess Aphrodite on the fuselage).
Aviation advertising for tourism.
- Air Great Wall (China)
- Champagne Airlines (France)
- Jade (Thailand)
- JetGreen Airways (Ireland)
- Viking Airlines (Sweden)
*Actually, some of these may still be flying, but under different names; most however have simply gone out of business.