|Formation||19 April 1945Havana, Cubain|
|Type||International trade association|
|Headquarters||800, Place Victoria (rue Gauvin),|
|290 airlines in 120 countries|
DG and CEO
|Alexandre de Juniac|
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 airline, IATA also organized tariff conferences that served as a forum for price fixing.
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.[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.
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.[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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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. 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. 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.
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".
IATA states that safety is its number one priority.[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. 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.
Simplifying the Business was launched in 2004. 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.
An innovative program, launched in 2012 is New Distribution Capability. 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. 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.
IATA members and all industry stakeholders have agreed to three sequential environmental goals:
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." 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.
IATA provides consulting and training services in many areas.
A number of standards are defined under the umbrella of IATA. One of the most important is the transport of dangerous goods (HAZMAT).
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