IATA was formed in April 1945, in Havana, Cuba. It is the successor to the International Air Traffic Association, founded in The Hague in 1919, the year of the world's first international scheduled services. At its founding, IATA had 57 members from 31 nations, mostly in Europe and North America. Today it has over 240 members from more than 140 nations in every part of the globe.
For fare calculations IATA has divided the world in three regions:
To this end, airlines have been granted a special exemption by each of the main regulatory authorities in the world to consult prices with each other through this body. However, the organisation has been accused of acting as a cartel, and many low cost carriers are not full IATA members. The European Union's competition authorities are currently investigating the body. In 2005, Neelie Kroes, the European Commissioner for Competition, made a proposal to lift the exception to consult prices. In July 2006, the United States Department of Transportation also proposed to withdraw antitrust immunity . IATA teamed with SITA for an electronic ticketing solution .
IATA assigns 3-letter IATA Airport Codes and 2-letter IATA airline designators, which are commonly used worldwide. ICAO also assigns airport and airline codes. For Rail&Fly systems, IATA also assigns IATA train station codes. For delay codes, IATA assigns IATA Delay Codes.
IATA is pivotal in the worldwide accreditation of travel agents with exception of the U.S., where this is done by the Airlines Reporting Corporation. Permission to sell airline tickets from the participating carriers is achieved through national member organizations.
IATA maintains the Timatic database containing cross border passenger documentation requirements. It is used by airlines to determine whether a passenger can be carried, as well as by airlines and travel agents to provide this information to travellers at the time of booking.
IATA publishes standards for use in the airline industry. The Bar Coded Boarding Pass (BCBP) standard defines the 2-Dimensional (2D) bar code printed on paper boarding passes or sent to mobiles phones for electronic boarding passes.
In 2004, IATA launched Simplifying the Business - a set of five initiatives which it says will save the industry US$6.5 billion every year. These projects are BCBP, IATA e-freight, CUSS (common use self-service), Baggage Improvement Programme (BIP) and the Fast Travel Programme.
Air transport's whole new ball game: the low-cost airlines have not just introduced a new economic model; they have attracted new customers with new patterns of behaviour that are changing the rules of the game.(AIR TRANSPORT & GENERAL AVIATION)
Jun 22, 2005; Since the end of WW II, for almost half a century, the air transport industry developed according to the same traditional model....