Founded in April 1945, the International Air Transport Association is the major vehicle for airline cooperation and decision making in fostering safe, economical and reliable air services. Today the international air transport industry is 100 times larger than it was originally, with few industries capable of matching the dynamism of this growth that would have been less significant without procedures and practices developed within the IATA. The modern organization is a successor of the International Air Traffic Association, formed in 1919 in The Hague.
While the old IATA was limited to the European dimension till 1939, the post-war company had to address the worldwide responsibilities with a larger infrastructure and much more systemic organization.
The vital tasks of the International Air Transport Association during its early days were mostly technical, since reliability and safety are extremely important to airline operators and required the highest standards in flight operations and airport infrastructure. The airlines of IATA made a significant contribution to the work of the International Civil Aviation Organization, the specialized UN agency for civic aviation.
Today the pioneering work of IATA is reflected in a many resolutions, dealing with a number of subjects. Some of the notable examples include the Multilateral Interline Traffic Agreements, signed by more than 300 airlines and recognized as the basis for the airline interline network; Passenger and Cargo Services Conference Resolutions, prescribing a range of technical specifications and standard formats for tickets; and Passenger and Cargo Agency Agreements and Sales Agency Rules, governing relations between the International Air Transport Association member airlines and their agents with concern to passengers and cargo.
Following changes in the travel industry, IATA is adapting to meet new requirements and needs. One thing that has remained unchanged since the organization's foundation is the necessity to provide service. As the airlines face new demands of the XXI century, IATA assists them in achieving this objective. Generally, the airlines have managed to create the modern independent world over the past five decades, and the International Air Transport Association is working to ensure that one of the most important and fastest growing industries in the world meets its largest possible potential.
Speaking about the air cargo industry, we should mention the International Air Cargo Association, the only truly representative organization in this field, whose worldwide membership comprises airports, airlines, aircraft manufacturers, express operators, general sales agents, ground handling agencies, IT suppliers and charter brokers.
The Association's objectives can be outlined as following:
- To provide mutual assistance in the international air cargo transportation promotion;
- To achieve coordinated actions in the issues dealing with air cargo transportation in the US;
- To carry out such activities as round table discussions, meetings, research and lectures;
- And to cooperate with other trade groups and associations.
With such an ambitious agenda it's no wonder that the organization is a success!