Air transport is one of the means of transportation that has grown the most in recent years. For the logistics sector, the airplane has been a way to better meet its needs.

Air transport is a highly diversified sector that is growing all the time. To understand air transport within the logistics sector, it is necessary to know what IATA is and its importance for the management of international air transport.



What is IATA

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is the professional association of the world’s airlines.

IATA was founded in 1945. It currently comprises 290 airlines from 117 countries, accounting for more than 80% of total air traffic.

One of its tasks is to promote cooperation to ensure the safety, security and reliability of air services.

They were also the architects of the three-digit airport codes used internationally.



IATA Objectives

In summary, we can list the following objectives of the International Air Transport Association (IATA):

  • Promote the development and growth of international air transportation.
  • Promote and guarantee collaboration between the different international air transport companies.
  • Strengthen safety within all areas of air transportation.
  • Creation of international air traffic rules and regulations.



What it takes to become an IATA agent

An IATA agent is an entity authorized and regulated by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) for international air transport.

IATA agents are in charge of everything necessary to ensure that goods transported by air reach their destination.


What are the functions of an IATA agent?

Some of the functions of an IATA agent are:

  • Supervise the loading and unloading of aircraft.
  • Issuance of international air transportation contracts.
  • Charge freight.
  • Responsible for the management of procedures between interested parties


To become an IATA agent it is necessary to approach this issue from two different perspectives:

As a company

It must have technical solvency assuming two people with IATA professional training, in addition to economic solvency to respond to the demands of the shippers.

As an individual

In the case of an individual, it is necessary to have the Air Cargo Professional (ACP) certification, which qualifies for customer service and cargo functions in airlines.

To receive IATA certification as an Air Cargo Professional you must comply with:

  • High School Diploma, Higher Level Training Cycle or equivalent.
  • Two to three years of work experience in the air cargo industry depending on the degree.
  • Complete the online form and payment of 310 €.


The IATA Certification is valid for two years.



Benefits of an IATA agent

Being an IATA agent is a highly valuable qualification within the air logistics industry. The main benefits of an IATA agent are as follows:

  • The possibility of issuing documentation on behalf of airlines. Those professionals who do not have this certification cannot do so.
  • An IATA agent obtains recognition from the industry and the airline sector by being a member of the IATA professional network.
  • An IATA agent can join Cargo Account Settlement Systems for easier settlement and accounting processes.

In short, it is a resource that provides greater value and improves the working conditions and methodology of professionals.



IATA Codes

Finally, we cannot fail to mention the IATA codes. These are a set of three letters that define and identify each airport in the world.

A standardization model that simplifies and optimizes the management work within air logistics.


Major international airports

The most important international airports and their IATA code are:

  • Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport: IATA: ATL
  • Beijing International Airport: IATA: PEK
  • Chicago O’Hare International Airport: IATA: ORD
  • London Heathrow Airport: LHR


Major Spanish airports

The most important airports in the country are the following:

  • Adolfo Suárez Madrid Airport: IATA: MAD
  • Bilbao Airport: IATA: BIO
  • La Coruña Airport: IATA: LCG
  • Josep Tarradellas Barcelona Airport: IATA: BCN
  • Valencia Airport: IATA: VLC


Across Logistics. IATA Agent

Across Logistics is an IATA (International Air Transport Association) accredited agent. We offer global air freight solutions for domestic and international shipments.

Contact our international logistics specialists.