I've found a strange thing on fr24: a plane with a B757 icon, but on the photo was a B737. After a short search I see, both can be true. There is/was a plane B757, owned by DHL and a B737 owned by Austrian Airlines with registration number OE-LNL

Here is a photo, about the DHL's B757: https://cdn.jetphotos.com/full/6/56676_1648108030.jpg

And another about the Austrian Airlines's B737: https://cdn.jetphotos.com/full/6/18078_1483735375.jpg

How is it possible?

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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to aviation.SE! This question is closely related, perhaps a dupe? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 16:01

1 Answer 1


The registrations are "recyclable", so when a certain registration is released form a plane that is either removed from service or re-registered to a different country, the previous registration can be used on another plane. This is not optimal if done immediately as it does create confusion sometimes as databases may "lag".

On a further note, sometimes Flightradar24 and other such services simply get these things messed up, showing wrong registration, type and/or picture of plane. This particular case is about re-registration.

You can use planespotters.net to check registration history or aircraft, here is the case for OE-LNL: planespotters.net - OE-LNL. As a perfect case example of the aforementioned database faults, this service has the very first entry wrong (as I'm writing this, database may become corrected later), but both registration entries mentioned in the question are present in this database:

OE-LNL - Boeing 757-200 (current registration at the moment)

Image of planespotters.net registration info for the 757
Click to embiggen

OE-LNL - Boeing 737-600 (removed from registry July 2012)

Image of planespotters.net registration info for the 737

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    $\begingroup$ In case the database gets updated to remove the out-of-date 737 registration, I've included screen shots of the planespotters.net registration page for both aircraft. Who knows, the 757 may be deregistered and it could be applied to an A350 in the future! $\endgroup$
    – FreeMan
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 16:47
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    $\begingroup$ Much appreciated @FreeMan 👍 $\endgroup$
    – Jpe61
    Commented Mar 25, 2022 at 21:26

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