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International Air Transport Association

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Coordinates: 45°30′02″N 73°33′42″W / 45.5006°N 73.5617°W / 45.5006; -73.5617

International Air Transport Association
IATAlogo.svg
AbbreviationIATA
Formation19 April 1945; 74 years ago (1945-04-19) in Havana, Cuba
TypeInternational trade association
Headquarters800, Place Victoria (rue Gauvin),
Montreal, Quebec
Canada
Membership
290 airlines in 120 countries
DG and CEO
Alexandre de Juniac
Websitewww.iata.org

The International Air Transport Association (IATA /ˈɑːtə/) 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 airline, IATA also organized tariff conferences that served as a forum for price fixing.[1]

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.[2][self-published source?] 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.[3]

History

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.[4][better source needed] At its founding, IATA consisted of 57 airlines from 31 countries. Much of IATA's early work was technical and IATA 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 technical of international air transport today.

Price fixing

The Chicago Convention did not result in a consensus on the economic regulation of the airline industry. According to Warren Koffler, IATA was formed to fill the resulting void and provide international air carriers with a mechanism to fix prices.[5]

In the late 1940s, IATA started holding conferences to fix prices for international air travel. IATA secretary J.G Gazdik stated that organization aimed to fix prices at reasonable levels, with due regard being paid to the cost of operations, in order to ensure reasonable profits for airlines.[6]

IATA has been described as "the world aviation cartel".[1] IATA enjoyed immunity from antitrust law in several nations.[7]

From 1956 to 1975, IATA resolutions capped travel agent commissions at 7% of the airline ticket price. The legal scholar Kenneth Elzinga argued that IATA's commission cap harmed consumers by decreasing the incentive for travel agents to offer improved service to consumers.[8]

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[9] in Rio de Janeiro and reached unanimous agreement on some 400 resolutions. IATA Director-General William Hildred recounted that about 200 of the resolutions at the Rio de Janeiro conference were related to establishing a uniform structure for tariffs charged for international air transportation.[10]

According to the economist Pascal Salin, IATA's price fixing regime forced airlines to attempt to differentiate themselves through the quality of their passenger experience.[11] IATA responded by imposing strict limits on the quality of airline service. In 1958, IATA issued a formal ruling baring airlines from serving economy passengers sandwiches with "luxurious" ingredients.[12][13] The economist Walter Adams observed that the limited service competition permitted by IATA tended to merely to divert traffic from one air carrier to another without at the same time enlarging the overall air transport market.[14]

Government response

The American Civil Aeronautics Board did not intervene to stop IATA's price fixing. The law professor Louis B. Schwartz condemned the board's inaction as an "abdication of judicial responsibility".[15]

In 2006, the United States Department of Justice adapted an order withdrawing the antitrust immunity of IATA tariff conferences.[16][17]

Focus areas

Safety

IATA states that safety is its number one priority.[18][unreliable source?] 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.[19] 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.[20]

Simplifying the Business

Simplifying the Business[21] was launched in 2004. This initiative has introduced a number of crucial concepts to passenger travel, including the electronic ticket[22] 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.[23] 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.[24] 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.[25][26]

Environment

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 2013 IATA annual general meeting in Cape Town, South Africa, members overwhelmingly endorsed a resolution on "Implementation of the Aviation Carbon-Neutral Growth (CNG2020) Strategy."[27] A representative for the European Federation for Transport and Environment, criticized the resolution for relying on carbon offsets instead of direct reductions in aviation carbon emissions.[27]

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 transport of dangerous goods (HAZMAT).

See also

References

  1. ^ a b 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.
  2. ^ "IATA by Region". International Air Transport Association. Retrieved 14 February 2016.[self-published source?]
  3. ^ "International Air Transport Association". CAPA Centre for Aviation. Retrieved 2 February 2015.
  4. ^ Sebastian Höhne. "IT in general Aviation: Pen and Paper vs. Bits and Bytes" (PDF). hoehne.net. p. 38. Retrieved 5 May 2014.[better source needed]
  5. ^ Koffler, Warren W. IATA: Its Legal Structure - A Critical Review . Journal of Air Law and Commerce, vol. 32, no. 2, Spring 1966, p. 222-235. HeinOnline
  6. ^ Gazdik, J.G. Rate-Making and the IATA Traffic Conferences . Journal of Air Law and Commerce, vol. 16, no. 3, Summer 1949, p. 298-322.
  7. ^ Koffler, Warren (Spring 1966). "IATA: It's legal structure - A critical review". Journal of Air Law and Commerce. 32: 222–235 – via HeinOnline.
  8. ^ Elzinga, Kenneth G. The Travel Agent, the IATA Cartel, and Consumer Welfare. Journal of Air Law and Commerce, vol. 44, no. 1, 1978, p. 47.
  9. ^ "ATPCO corporate history". Airline Tariff Publishing Company. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  10. ^ Hildred, William P. "International Air Transport Association: II." Air Affairs, vol. 2, no. 3, July 1948, p. 364-379.
  11. ^ Salin, Pascal (1996). "Cartels as efficient productive structures". The Review of Austrian Economics. 9 (2): 29–42. doi:10.1007/BF01103328.
  12. ^ Freidlander, Paul (27 April 1958). "Sandwich Settlement". New York Times. pp. 2–1.
  13. ^ Tauber, Ronald S. Enforcement of IATA Agreements. Harvard International Law Journal , vol. 10, no. 1, Winter 1969, p. 1-33.
  14. ^ Adams, Walter (1958). "The Role of Competition in the Regulated Industries". The American Economic Review. 48 (2): 527–543. ISSN 0002-8282. JSTOR 1816944.
  15. ^ Schwartz, Louis B. (1954). "Legal Restriction of Competition in the Regulated Industries: An Abdication of Judicial Responsibility". Harvard Law Review. 67 (3): 436–475. doi:10.2307/1336965. ISSN 0017-811X. JSTOR 1336965.
  16. ^ "DOT-OST-2006-25307-003". www.regulations.gov. Retrieved 26 February 2020.
  17. ^ Wojtek, Ralf (28 November 2015). "UPU compensation rates for packages under EU competition law: Are the lessons to be learned from other international fee arrangements". In Crew, Michael A.; Brennan, Timothy J. (eds.). The future of the postal sector in a digital world. Springer. p. 337. ISBN 978-3-319-24454-9. OCLC 930703336.
  18. ^ "Safety top priority for aviation industry: IATA". China Daily. Retrieved 2 February 2015.[unreliable source?]
  19. ^ Oliver Smith. "2017 was the safest year in aviation history – but which was the deadliest?". The Telegraph. Retrieved 11 January 2018.
  20. ^ "IATA wants new airline tracking equipment". Malaysia Sun. Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 10 June 2014.
  21. ^ Gouldman, Anna (25 April 2005). "Airlines to Scrap Paper Tickets by 2007: Industry Feedback". Breaking Travel News. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  22. ^ Greenwood, Gemma (27 August 2007). "IATA makes final paper ticket order". Arabian Travel News. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  23. ^ Boehmer, Jay (18 October 2012). "IATA Votes To Adopt New Distribution Standards". The Beat. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  24. ^ IATA. Cargo-XML Standards: Modernizing air cargo communication.
  25. ^ Vanasse, Zachary-Cy (1 May 2013). "New Distribution Capability Or New Industry Model?". Travel Hot News. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  26. ^ Orukpe, Abel. "IATA urges stakeholders to collaborate, give passengers value". Daily Independent. Archived from the original on 15 March 2013. Retrieved 18 November 2013.
  27. ^ a b Harvey, Fiona (4 June 2013). "Airlines agree to curb their greenhouse gas emissions by 2020". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2013.

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