by Female Abroad

As I've mentioned in the Airline Governing bodies article, the main one in the industry is IATA (International Air Transport Association).

Back in 1919, it's predecessor was a program named the International Air Traffic Association which was started in Den Haag, Netherlands. With the start of Pan Am in 1939, it became the first major airline to join the agreement in the US market as it was mostly just European airlines at that point. Then in 1945, IATA was created in Havana, Cuba with 57 airline members and growing ever since with about 240 airlines across 115 countries as of 2011 (roughly 84% of the world's air traffic at the time). Now days IATA members have the majority of major passenger and cargo airlines include which helps to promote not only safe but economical air travel across the industry.

IATA's goal is to represent, lead, and service the airline industry and they want to do that by:


  1. Seek to improve understanding of the industry among decision makers
  2. Create awareness of the benefits that aviation brings
  3. Fights for the interest of airlines across the globe
  4. Challenge unreasonable rules & charges
  5. Hold regulators & governments accountable
  6. Strive for sensible regulation


  1. Help airlines help themselves by simplifying processes and increasing pax convenience while reducing costs and improving efficiency
  2. Simplifying the Business initiative
  3. Continually improve safety standards
  4. IATA’s Operational Safety Audit (IOSA)
  5. Minimize the impact of air transport on the environment


  1. Ensure people and goods can move around the global airline network as easily as if they were on a single airline in a single country
  2. Provide essential professional support to all industry stakeholders through publications, training, consulting
  3. Financial system also helps carriers and the travel industry maximize revenues

When it comes to joining IATA the member ship is open to all airlines that operate both scheduled and nonscheduled flights. There are also two different levels of membership as well (active = airlines with international & domestic flights or associate = airlines with domestic flights only). Airlines who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to join know that they are getting unrivaled benefits as IATA provides a powerful, unified, and experienced voice that promotes the interests of its members. To do this they have International recognition and lobbying, they target the industry's key priorities, they drive industry change, they reduce flight costs, and also offer training and other services

With travel agencies, they don't join IATA but they do get accredited with their an IATA code or a TIDS code:

- IATA Code: Needed if the travel agency is going to issue their own airline tickets

- TIDS Code (Travel Industry Designator Service): For a travel agency that is going to use a third party to issue their airline tickets (ex. wholesaler or consolidator), Same benefits as an IATA code

Since IATA is not going anywhere, they have set in place a plan to achieve the following by 2050:

  1. Zero accidents
  2. Reducing delays
  3. Reducing carbon footprint
  4. Increasing profitability
  5. Reshaping infrastructure
  6. Find sustainable air fuel
  7. Enhance customer satisfaction