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Wikipedia lists N8 at the IATA code for National Cargo Airlines (ICAO NCR), a regional airline based in Orlando, Florida. AirlineCodes.info and other sources list N8 as the code for Fika Salaama (ICAO HGK), which is based in Uganda. Both are currently in operation. What on earth is going on here?

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IATA issues duplicate airline codes to regional airlines where the codes are not likely to overlap, from Wikipedia:

Controlled duplicates are issued to regional airlines whose destinations are not likely to overlap, so that the same code is shared by two airlines.

This happens because IATA uses a 2-letter code for for airlines which has a limited range of available codes. Since NCA doesn't operate a passenger service in the same region as Fika Salaama, it would be very unlikely to confuse the two.

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  • $\begingroup$ The question is about a cargo airline. Can it ever occur that one and the same IATA code is given to 2 different passenger airlines (e. g. one small American airline, which flies to 2 and a half cities in the US, and a small Russian airline, which does the same in Russia)? In this case they are not likely to overlap, but if someone uses the IATA code as an airline identificator in a database they are screwed... $\endgroup$ – DP_ Feb 28 '17 at 8:25
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    $\begingroup$ @DP_ It would be foolish to use the IATA code as an identifier in a database, since many airlines don't even have one. Wikipedia says nothing about the airlines not carrying passengers and, for example, I9 is used by both IndiGo (a large Indian domestic low-cost carrier with more than 100 A320s in its fleet) and Air Italy (which owns 15 passenger 737s and 767s and now flies under the Meridiana brand). $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 28 '17 at 9:15
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    $\begingroup$ @DP_ NCA also has a scheduled passenger service. $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Feb 28 '17 at 12:30
  • $\begingroup$ @DavidRicherby FWIW, according to IATA's own database, I9 is indeed Air Italy, but Indigo is 6E $\endgroup$ – Pondlife Feb 28 '17 at 15:19
  • $\begingroup$ @Pondlife I see the problem: there are airlines Indigo (lower-case g, in the US and now defunct) and IndiGo (upper-case G, in India). Wikipedia's IATA code page linked small-g-Indigo to Indigo (airline), which redirects to big-G-IndiGo and I'd not noticed the difference. Now fixed. $\endgroup$ – David Richerby Feb 28 '17 at 15:26
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If you check IATA's own code database, N8 is used for only one airline: National Air Cargo Group, Inc., doing business as National Airlines.

The same search tool says that Fika Salaama doesn't have an assigned IATA code. I'm curious how you know that it's in operation; Google can't find any direct information on it, and third-party aviation sites come up with automatically generated pages. As we've seen here before, there's a lot of incorrect - or at least outdated - information out there that doesn't always match what IATA's own database says.

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