Air transport is one of the most dynamic industries in the world. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is its global trade organization. Over 60 years, IATA has developed the commercial standards that built a global industry. Today, IATA’s mission is to represent, lead, and serve the airline industry. Its members comprise some 240 airlines representing 84% of total air traffic.
IATA seeks to improve understanding of the industry among decision makers and increase awareness of the benefits that aviation brings to national and global economies. It ensures that people and goods can move around the global airline network as easily as if they were on a single airline in a single country. In addition, it provides essential professional support to all industry stakeholders with a wide range of products and expert services, such as publications, training and consulting. IATA’s financial systems also help carriers and the travel industry maximize revenues.
For consumers, IATA simplifies the travel and shipping processes, while keeping costs down. Passengers can make one telephone call to reserve a ticket, pay in one currency and then use the ticket on several airlines in several countries. IATA allows airlines to operate safely, securely, efficiently and economically under clearly defined rules.
IATA was founded in Havana, Cuba, in April 1945. It was the prime vehicle for inter- airline cooperation in promoting safe, reliable, secure, and economical air services. At the founding, its main goals were:
- to promote safe, regular, and economical air transport for the benefit of the peoples of the world, to foster air commerce, and to study the problems connected therewith;
- to provide means for collaboration among the air transport enterprises engaged directly or indirectly in international air transport service; and
- to cooperate with the newly created International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO - the specialized United Nations agency for civil aviation) and other international organizations.
The international scheduled air transport industry is now more than 100 times larger than it was in 1945. Few industries can match the dynamism of that growth, which would have been much less spectacular without the standards, practices, and procedures developed within IATA.
8. The information included in this section has been retrieved from IATA’swebsite @ http://www.iata.org/about/Pages/index.aspx.