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IATA 15 Route Priorities

Fixed routes or airways are insensitive to upper wind patterns. Potential fuel efficiencies and CO2 emission reductions are therefore not realized.

Over the past decade there have been several changes in the airspace environment that create an opportunity to examine ways of moving towards a dynamic, more flexible routing structure. Some of the changes include:

  • A paradigm shift is occurring within the industry from Air Traffic Control to Air Traffic Management
  • Air traffic around the world is expected to grow around 5% every year
  • Ultra Long Haul (ULH) flights of well over 12 hours duration are challenging the outdated airspace structure
  • Aircraft, flight planning and Air Traffic Management systems have the required capabilities to support Flex Routes

IATA is working with key industry stakeholders to help introduce more flexible routings called iFLEX.

The iFLEX revolution

The iFLEX project will change the way that long haul flights operate. On a 12-hour ULH flight (Boeing 777-200), an iFLEX route will have the following effects:

  • Reducing flight time (approximately 6 minutes)
  • Reducing fuel burn (up to 2%)
  • Reducing CO2 emissions (approximately 3,000 kg)
  • Significant commercial benefits (profitability, options to increase payload)

iFLEX to date 

  • iFlex proof of concept trials have been conducted between Atlanta and Johannesburg. See the press release.
  • IATA regions are currently working with stakeholders to expand the flexibility of routes used by long haul flights. 

IATA invites all industry stakeholders to join in supporting and implementing iFLEX. Please contact us now for more information.


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