IATA in the Americas
IATA's regional office for the Americas, based in Miami, along with its 10 country offices support the organization’s mission to represent, lead and serve the airline industry. We seek to improve the understanding of the aviation industry and increase awareness of the benefits the industry brings to regional and local economies.
We champion the global and regional interests of our members, challenging unreasonable rules and charges, holding regulators and governments accountable.
IATA promotes the value aviation brings by increasing connectivity, improving infrastructure, helping airlines in the region become more competitive by advocating for a smarter regulatory environment and improving the passenger experience through the use of technology.
The regional office maintains close relations with governments, their agencies, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Latin American Civil Aviation Commission (LACAC) , Latin American and Caribbean Air Transport Association (ALTA), Airlines for America (A4A), airports, air navigation service providers and regional airline associations.
The Region at a glance
- 840,000 jobs generated by the airlines industry in Latin America and the Caribbean
- 4.2M people employed by industries supported by Aviation
- 268M passengers transported in 2014
- $138 billion aviation contribution to the region's GDP
- 5.4% annual growth of Revenue Passenger Kilometers (RPKs) forecast over the next 20 years
"Our team just concluded IATA’s 71st Annual General Meeting (AGM) hosted by American Airlines, FedEx, UPS and Airlines for America. It was a great honor to hold the event in Miami which allowed us to have aviation’s global spotlight on the Americas region.
We experienced a record breaking attendance with over 1,000 delegates, bringing together CEOs and senior management of IATA’s 260 member airlines. In addition, we signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Mexico's Ministry of Communications and Transportation to provide technical and operational assistance for the design and construction of the new Mexico City Int'l Airport.
Lastly, Andres Conesa, CEO of Aeromexico, was appointed Chairman of the IATA Board of Governors for a one-year term."
Peter Cerdá, IATA’s Regional Vice President, The Americas
Call to Brazilian Government to follow global best practices
IATA has urged the National Congress of Brazil to observe global best practices should it undertake an amendment of Brazil’s laws regarding air crew duty and flight time requirements.
IATA emphasized that duty and flight time, as with other aviation-related activities, should be aligned with the well-established provisions of ICAO, which provides global standards and guidance for the regulation of fatigue management based on scientific principles, ensuring proper flight crew rest and optimal performance.
IATA has noted some similar considerations in Colombia and will work closely with all stakeholders involved to encourage governments to adhere to global best practices.
Should governments wish to intervene further, programs such as the Fatigue Risk Management System (FRMS), supported by Safety Management System (SMS) protocols, maintain safety in an efficient operating framework.
Airport slots awareness campaign in Peru, Chile and Ecuador
An airport slots awareness campaign took place in the region throughout April and May, bringing together airport and civil aviation authorities to highlight the importance of connectivity, the future of air transport infrastructure and the challenges ahead in each country.
IATA met with representatives of the Chilean, Peruvian and Ecuadorian governments to emphasize the importance of effective capacity management at airports and to promote the need for proactive efforts to avoid airports becoming congested and requiring slot coordination.
There was broad agreement with the Peruvian government on the need to join forces to address the saturation of Jorge Chavez International Airport (LIM) in order for the competitiveness of the Peruvian economy not to be harmed. In Colombia, BOG has been officially declared a level 3 slot airport.
Increased Focus on passenger data in the U.S.
Politicians and regulators in the United States are becoming increasingly interested in what airlines can and cannot do with passenger data that they collect as part of the book and fulfillment process. In April 2015, six U.S. Senators wrote to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation expressing concerns that, among other things, airlines would engage in personalized or dynamic pricing of airline tickets and services to the detriment of consumers.
IATA anticipates that interest in this subject will grow as airlines enhance their websites and (via NDC) their agent channel to better support customers’ stated goals and priorities. While IATA will continue to educate policy makers on the value add of personalized pricing, we urge member airlines to carefully review their privacy policies and be prepared to respond to challenges as to what airlines can and cannot consider when constructing an offer to customers through either the direct or travel agent channel.
Ecuador votes against bill to regulate airfares
Favorable news was received concerning a proposal to the National Assembly that would have allowed the Ecuadorian government to fix domestic fares under the premise that air transport was to be treated as a public service.
Following opposition from both the Ministers of Transport and Tourism, as well as local and international lobbying efforts, the bill was cancelled by a majority of votes. A second bill which proposed to also regulate international airfares for tickets sold in Ecuador as well as for air cargo did not gain any traction and has not been registered.
Given the failure of the first bill, we believe that this proposal will not gain acceptance to move forward. IATA will be monitoring developments closely. For more information, please contact IATA’s Regional Head of Member & External Relations for the Americas, Oracio Marquez.
Aviation day in Peru highlights key growth constraints
IATA held an Aviation Day in Lima, Peru on June 17, focusing on sustainable market growth and improving the passenger experience, including a variety of panel discussions with industry experts and government officials. In summary, Peru experiences a booming economy, a favorable geographical location and airlines are interested in expanding but lack the proper regulatory framework and infrastructure to do so.
Key takeaways of the event were that in terms of regulation, existing global standards and legislature need to be applied to foster a harmonized regulatory framework. Through proper collaboration between IATA, governments, airlines and airports, desired outcomes for all parties can be accomplished.
An example where proper collaboration has not yet occurred is the development of the new airport in Pisco. Airlines rely on the government’s commitment to facilitate the investment planning to ensure proper growth of airport infrastructure across the country and there has to be a collective vision and determination to create a true hub in LIM as the current infrastructure in LIM hampers capacity growth.
Venezuela crisis complicates further due to floating exchange rates
IATA continues to call on the Venezuelan government to address the problem of the $3.8 billion in airline funds the government is withholding from the airlines and has requested a meeting with the Venezuelan government to take place over the next month to urgently address the following issues.
- Exchange rates: Establish a single and fair Bolivar (VEF) exchange rate for the sale of tickets and for the payment of airline fees and charges. Currently, airlines are forced to sell tickets using an exchange rate of 12 VEF to the US dollar (USD) and make payments such as those for airport use at a floating rate that currently stands at 199 VEF per USD.
- Payment Schedule: Work with airlines to establish a realistic and achievable payment schedule to settle the blocked funds.
- Consultation: Commit to the global best practice of consulting the industry before imposing any new taxes or regulations that affect airlines.
Consumer protection concerns in Colombia
Multiple concerning proposals in regards to consumer protection have surfaced in Colombia. Specifically:
- the elimination of penalties on ticket changes up to 48 hours prior to flight and clarifying that right of repentance applies to air transport.
- an effort to transfer authority from the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) to the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce on all matters related to consumer protection, and
- a proposal by the CAA that would significantly increase its ability to impose increased administrative sanctions.
IATA is working closely with the local BAR in an effort to oppose these initiatives and work collaboratively with the CAA in its proposed modification scheme.
Consideration of social security contribution on net profit in Brazil
The Brazilian Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is conducting an audit of 12 foreign carriers covering the fiscal period of 2012. This could potentially impose a significant number of fines in retroactive taxes as well as charges to involved officers for tax evasion.
The two main areas of focus of the audit are assessing a tax called Social Contribution on Net Profit (CSLL in Portuguese) and investigating if foreign airlines are omitting revenues which are not eligible from tax exemption under Brazilian law.
Brazilian law clearly establishes that all foreign carriers shall be exempted from income tax associated with income deriving from international air transport services under evidence of reciprocity and to avoid double taxation.
The airlines have formed a Steering Group under the coordination of IATA and JURCAIB to collect data from affected airlines, hire a renowned tax advisor to prepare a defense on behalf of the airlines, and, engage in advocacy work with aviation, tax and foreign affairs government agencies.
Bolivia moving forward with API and ratified MC99
After the successful API informative session that took place in Bolivia in April, IATA received confirmation that the Civil Aviation Authority adopted our message to move forward with the implementation of API. Process of vendor selection has started.
IATA remains fully engaged to ensure alignment with standards and support program development. In addition, Bolivia became the 111th State to have ratified the MC99 with an effective date of July 5, 2015. Global ratification of MC99 by States is an urgent priority for IATA.
Cost avoidance of $16.5 million in Guatemala
The industry achieved a cost avoidance in Guatemala of $16.5M. The government canceled a contract to buy biometric equipment for which it planned to increase the departure tax by an additional $15 per passenger.
When IATA first became aware of the government’s plan, we joined forces with the local BAR and the AOC. Together, IATA held meetings to agree on a position and sent letters to the Guatemalan President, Ministers and Immigration expressing opposition. This increased pressure on the government, who was already in the public eye due to corruption scandals.
IATA also met with the Minister of Internal Affairs and expressed the industry’s support to enhance the security measures, but not by charging passengers for it.