Terms & Glossaries of Shipping and Trading

IATA (International Air Transport Association)

IATA is a trade association serving airlines, passengers and shippers, defines key rules for transport of cargo, maintains a global list of airport codes.

What is IATA (International Air Transport Association)?

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is a trade association of the world's airlines founded in 1945. IATA has been described as a cartel since, in addition to setting technical standards for airlines, IATA also organized tariff conferences that served as a forum for price fixing.

Consisting in 2016 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. IATA supports airline activity and helps formulate industry policy and standards. It is headquartered in Canada in the city of Montréal, with executive offices in Geneva, Switzerland.

Focus Areas:

Safety: IATA states that safety is its number one priority. The main instrument for safety is the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA). 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.

Simplifying the Business: This initiative has introduced a number of crucial concepts to passenger travel, including the electronic ticket 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.

Environment: IATA members and all industry stakeholders work together to improve fuel efficiency and reduce net aviation carbon emissions.

Services: IATA provides consulting and training services in many areas.

Publications - standards: A number of standards are defined under the umbrella of IATA. One of the most important is the IATA DGR for the transport of dangerous goods (HAZMAT) by air.