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International Air Transport Association

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International Air Transport Association
Formation19 April 1945; 75 years ago (1945-04-19) in Havana, Cuba
TypeInternational trade association
Headquarters800, Place Victoria (rue Gauvin),
Montreal, Quebec
Coordinates45°30′02″N 73°33′42″W / 45.5006°N 73.5617°W / 45.5006; -73.5617
290 airlines in 120 countries
DG and CEO
Alexandre de Juniac

The International Air Transport Association (IATA /ˈɑːtə/) is a trade association of the world’s airlines.

Consisting of 290 airlines, primarily major carriers, representing 117 countries, the IATA's member airlines account for carrying approximately 82% of total available seat miles air traffic.[1][self-published source?] IATA supports airline activity and helps formulate industry policy and standards. It is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with Executive Offices in Geneva, Switzerland.[2]

History[edit source | edit]

IATA was formed in April 1945 in Havana, Cuba. It is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association, which was formed in 1919 at The Hague, Netherlands.[3] At its founding, IATA consisted of 57 airlines from 31 countries. Much of IATA’s early work was technical and it provided input to the newly created International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which was reflected in the annexes of the Chicago Convention, the international treaty that still governs the conduct of international air transport today.

The Chicago Convention couldn’t resolve the issue of who flies where, however, and this has resulted in the thousands of bilateral air transport agreements in existence today. The benchmark standard for the early bilaterals was the 1946 United States-United Kingdom Bermuda Agreement.[4]

Price fixing[edit source | edit]

IATA has been described as "the world aviation cartel".[5] IATA enjoyed immunity from antitrust law in several nations.[6]

At a time when many airlines were government owned and loss-making, IATA operated as a cartel, charged by the governments with setting a fixed fare structure that avoided price competition. The first Traffic Conference was held in 1947[7] in Rio de Janeiro and reached unanimous agreement on some 400 resolutions.

In 2006, IATA entered into a consent decree with the United States Department of Justice related to alleged price fixing at its tariff conferences.[8]

Operations[edit source | edit]

Safety[edit source | edit]

IATA states that safety is its number one priority.[9] The main instrument for safety is the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). IOSA has also been mandated at the state level by several countries. In 2017, aviation posted its safest year ever, surpassing the previous record set in 2012. The new global Western-built jet accident rate became the equivalent of one accident every 7.36 million flights.[10] Future improvements will be founded on data sharing with a database fed by a multitude of sources and housed by the Global Safety Information Center. In June 2014 the IATA set up a special panel to study measures to track aircraft in flight in real time. The move was in response to the disappearance without trace of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 on 8 March 2014.[11]

Simplifying the Business[edit source | edit]

Simplifying the Business[12] was launched in 2004. This initiative has introduced a number of crucial concepts to passenger travel, including the electronic ticket[13] and the bar coded boarding pass. Many other innovations are being established as part of the Fast Travel initiative, including a range of self-service baggage options.

An innovative program, launched in 2012 is New Distribution Capability.[14] This will replace the pre-Internet EDIFACT messaging standard that is still the basis of the global distribution system /travel agent channel and replace it with an XML standard.[15] This will enable the same choices to be offered to high street travel shoppers as are offered to those who book directly through airline websites. A filing with the US Department of Transportation brought over 400 comments.[16][17]

Environment[edit source | edit]

IATA members and all industry stakeholders have agreed to three sequential environmental goals:

  1. An average improvement in fuel efficiency of 1.5% per annum from 2009 through 2020
  2. A cap on net carbon emissions from aviation from 2020 (carbon-neutral growth)
  3. A 50% reduction in net aviation carbon emissions by 2050 relative to 2005 levels.

At the 69th IATA annual general meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, members overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution on "Implementation of the Aviation Carbon-Neutral Growth (CNG2020) Strategy."[18]

The resolution provides governments with a set of principles on how governments could:

  • Establish procedures for a single market-based measure (MBM)
  • Integrate a single MBM as part of an overall package of measures to achieve CNG2020

IATA member airlines agreed that a single mandatory carbon offsetting scheme would be the simplest and most effective option for an MBM.

Services[edit source | edit]

IATA provides consulting and training services in many areas.

Publications - standards[edit source | edit]

A number of standards are defined under the umbrella of IATA. One of the most important is the transport of dangerous goods (HAZMAT).

See also[edit source | edit]

References[edit source | edit]

  1. "IATA by Region". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved 14 February 2016.
  2. "International Air Transport Association". CAPA Centre for Aviation. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  3. Sebastian Höhne. "IT in general Aviation: Pen and Paper vs. Bits and Bytes" (PDF). hoehne.net. p. 38. Retrieved 5 May 2014.
  4. "Contemporary Issues in Air Transport Air Law & Regulation" (PDF). Institute of Air & Space Law, McGill University, Montreal. Archived from the original (PDF) on 13 April 2014. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  5. Hannigan, John A. (1982). "Unfriendly Skies: The Decline of the World Aviation Cartel". The Pacific Sociological Review. 25 (1): 107–136. doi:10.2307/1388890. ISSN 0030-8919. JSTOR 1388890.
  6. Koffler, Warren (Spring 1966). "IATA: It's legal structure - A critical review". Journal of Air Law and Commerce. 32: 222–235 – via HeinOnline.
  7. Airline Tariff Publishing Company. "ATPCO corporate history". Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  8. Jacobson, Jonathan M. (2007). Antitrust Law Developments (sixth). ISBN 9781590318676.
  9. "Safety top priority for aviation industry: IATA". China Daily. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  10. Oliver Smith. "2017 was the safest year in aviation history – but which was the deadliest?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  11. "IATA wants new airline tracking equipment". Malaysia Sun. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  12. Gouldman, Anna (25 April 2005). "Airlines to Scrap Paper Tickets by 2007: Industry Feedback". Breaking Travel News. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  13. Greenwood, Gemma (27 August 2007). "IATA makes final paper ticket order". Arabian Travel News. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  14. Boehmer, Jay (18 October 2012). "IATA Votes To Adopt New Distribution Standards". The Beat. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  15. IATA. Cargo-XML Standards: Modernizing air cargo communication.
  16. Vanasse, Zachary-Cy (1 May 2013). "New Distribution Capability Or New Industry Model?". Travel Hot News. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  17. Orukpe, Abel. "IATA urges stakeholders to collaborate, give passengers value". Daily Independent. Archived from the original on 15 March 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  18. Harvey, Fiona (4 June 2013). "Airlines agree to curb their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2013.

External links[edit source | edit]