The International Air Travel Association is an international trade body set up by several airlines. It was founded in Havana, Cuba, in 1945, but now has its headquarters in Montreal, Canada. It represents over 230 different airlines, which make up for about 93 percent of the total air traffic. The IATA’s mission is “to represent, lead and serve the airline industry.”
Representing the Industry
One of the objectives of the IATA is to help decision makers be informed and understand more about the industry by increasing awareness of the contribution of aviation to the economies of different countries and the world. The IATA takes up the causes of airlines across the world, fighting their case when charges or taxes are unreasonably high, and tries to advocate pro-airline regulations.
Leading the Industry
As an industry leader, the IATA aims to help airlines simplify their systems and processes and serve passengers better, while at the same time reducing costs and increasing their efficiency. Its "Simplifying the Business" initiative is estimated to save the global airline industry a sum of 18.1 billion dollars every year. The IATA Operational Safety Audit program assesses the operational management and control system of airlines.
Serving the Industry
The IATA works with its member airlines to ensure the easy travel and transfer of goods and services across different airlines and across the world, and to make sure they move with ease traveling within a country in the same airline. It also helps airlines to train staff, offer consultation and has publications that provide similar support.
The IATA’s Vision 2050 is a long-term plan for the aviation industry. The main aims of this program are to structure systems for better profits, to develop sustainable technologies, to meet the needs of the consumer and to ensure there is sufficient infrastructure to support the demands (it is estimated that by 2050, the annual number of passengers will be 16 billion and freight will amount to 400 million tons per year).