What is IATA and Its Role in Airline Industry

What is IATA?

IATA stands for the International Air Transport Association founded in 1945, and IATA is the official trade organization for the world’s airlines, and it has more than 110 participating nations. It currently has 290 airlines member in over 120 countries. The IATA’s member airlines provide services for carrying approximately 83% of the total available seat mile air traffic. It is headquartered in Montreal, Quebec Canada. For airlines, IATA provides a polled resource for scheduling, air traffic, and their routes, standardizing services, and the creation of a worldwide public service for the airline industry. IATA is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association, which was formed in 1919 in The Hague, Netherlands.

What are IATA Codes?

IATA Codes are an essential part of the travel industry and essential for the identification of an airline, its destinations, and its traffic documents. IATA codes are also important for the smooth-running operations of electronic applications which have been built around these coding systems for cargo traffic and air passenger purposes.
There are main 4 types of IATA codes which are

Airline Designator Codes

For reservations, schedules, timetables, telecommunications, ticketing, cargo documentation, legal, tariffs, and/or other commercial/traffic purposes, IATA assigned Airline Designator Codes to Airlines and their associated companies.

Accounting or Prefix codes

These codes are essential for the identification of passenger and cargo traffic documents, processing of passenger accounting transactions of tickets and bookings, cargo transactions, and other commercial and air traffic purposes.

Baggage Tag Issuer Code (BTIC)

These codes are used to identify each piece of checked luggage through all baggage handling processes. These codes are combined with the tag serial numbers. They are used to the identified unique license plate to complete the baggage journey.

Location Identifiers

These are unique three-letter codes to identify a location like an airport and are created through the airport and city names. These codes are mostly generated with the letters chosen from a city’s name. Location identifier’s 2-character codes of airports are given in 1930 for the first time when air travel gained popularity. bus or ferry stations may be eligible for an IATA location identifier code.

What is IATA’s role in the Travel Industry?

IATA is the trade association organization of the global airline industry. IATA has supported the development of the commercial standards upon which the global air transport industry is built, promote safe, regular, and economic air transport, study problems connected with the airline industry, and creates fair competition among airline companies, defines the standards for terminal designs and its management, Provide airline and destination codes, designates the cargo transportation procedures and provide a collaborating ground between air transport companies and agencies.

IATA also accredits travel agents to sell tickets on behalf of its members.
To Become a member of IATA, every airline needs to pass the IOSA (IATA Operational Safety Audit). Travel agents cannot become a member of IATA, they can only be accredited, currently, there are more than 54,000 IATA-accredited travel agents operating in 217 countries and territories.