Roll NO: 05
PROJECT: International NAME: Air Transport (IATA)
IATA was formed on 19 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 about 243 members (as of April 2012) from more than 126 nations in every part of the world. Early Days
The most important tasks of IATA during its earliest days were technical, because safety and reliability are fundamental to airline operations. These require the highest standards in air navigation, airport infrastructure and flight operations. The IATA airlines provided vital input to the work of ICAO, as that organization drafted its Standards and commended Practices. By 1949, the drafting process was largely complete and reflected in "Annexes" to the Chicago convention, the treaty which still governs the conduct of international civil aviation.
In those early days, ICAO coordinated regional air navigation and support for airports and operational aids in countries which could not themselves afford such services. IATA provided airline input to ICAO and to sessions of the International Telecommunications Union on wavelength allocation.
The standardization of documentation and procedures for the smooth functioning of the world air transport network also required a sound legal basis. IATA helped to mesh international conventions, developed through ICAO, with US air transport law which had developed in isolation prior to World War Two. The Association made a vital input to the development of Conditions of Carriage the contract between the customer and the transporting airline. One early item on the legal agenda was revision and modernization of the Warsaw Convention - originally signed in 1929 - on airline liability for passenger injury or death and cargo damage or loss. This work continues.
Once they were operating within a sound technical and legal framework, airlines' next requirements were for answers to questions such as: who can fly where? What prices are to be charged? How is the money from multi-airline journeys - that is, interlining - to be divided up, and how do airlines settle their accounts?
The Chicago Conference of 1944 which gave birth to the Chicago Convention tried to achieve a multilateral answer to the first two questions, but failed to do so. The questions of who flies, and where, were resolved on a bilateral basis. The benchmark Bermuda Agreement of 1946 between the US and the UK was the first of almost 4,000 bilateral air transport agreements so far signed and registered with ICAO.
In the early days, governments insisted on the right to oversee the prices charged by international airlines but could not, in practical terms, develop those prices for themselves. IATA was delegated to hold Traffic Conferences for this purpose, with all fares and rates subject to final government approval. The aim was twofold: ensuring that fares and rates would not involve cut-throat competition, while ensuring that they could be set as low as possible, in the interests of consumers.
A coherent pattern of fares and rates pattern was established, avoiding inconsistencies between tariffs affecting neighboring countries - and thereby avoiding traffic diversion. The predictability of fares and rates in this pattern also enabled airlines to accept each others' tickets on multi-sector journeys and thus gave birth to interlining. Today, 50 million international air passengers a year...
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