What is IATA?


IATA stands for the International Air Transport Association. It’s the global trade association for the world’s airlines and everything air transport related, representing some 290 carriers across 120 different countries and accounting for 82% of total air traffic.

IATA’s members include airlines, freight forwarders, air traffic management, government and policy makers, ground handlers, industry suppliers and manufacturers and travel agents. With offices in 53 countries, it’s the biggest travel association in the world.

What does IATA do?

IATA was founded in Havana, Cuba in 1945 to support the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). Aviation was booming after WWII and there quickly became a need to regulate the industry and formulate important standards, policies, practices and procedures around safety, security and services.

Since their creation in 1945, they have helped to formulate most of the industry standards that we are familiar with today; for example regulating the size of luggage stored in the overhead bins on planes. They were also the brains behind the three-digit identification airport codes used internationally, for example BHX for Birmingham.

Their role in the industry can be defined as:

  • Promoting safe, regular and economic air transport
  • To support and continue to support the development of the commercial standards upon which the global air transport industry is built
  • Priorities include safety, security, environment, services, simplifying the business and helping to build relationships within the industry

IATA also has a strong interest in making the airline industry become more sustainable and are working on several cargo sustainability initiatives tackling environmental, social and economic matters.

What does it mean to be an IATA member?

IATA has a huge amount of influence in the aviation industry. Most reputable and professional companies, particularly freight companies are IATA members as it is somewhat of a badge of honor to show that you care about providing top quality service and standards. We would advise anyone looking for a freight forwarder for their air cargo to ensure that their chosen company is a member of IATA.

With air cargo making up 35% of global trade by value, companies like Pinnacle are an important part of the aviation industry. As IATA members, Pinnacle has access to all airline members, which means we can offer the highest levels of service standards, with international industry recognition of financial and professional competence.


We can also be found on IATA’s CargoLink directory for the cargo supply chain amongst more than 6000 freight forwarders, airlines, airports and industry suppliers. If you’d like to know more about Pinnacle Freight and how we work with IATA, contact us today.

If you’re in the USA, call us on +1 757 306 1211 or email us at inquiry@pinnaclefreight.com. Alternatively, you can request a quote with us today. If you’re U.K based, give us a call on 0845 6216 111 or drop us an email at enquiry@pif.co.uk.

What is IATA?

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