The IATA that emerged since 1979 has put an increasing share of its resources into trade association activities.

IATA also changed the basis of its funding. Much of the association's funding is now done through the marketing of its products and services to member airlines, other airlines and others in the travel, transport and tourism industry. As a result airlines can access a broader array of professional services, tapping into IATA's expertise. And IATA has greater flexibility in the way it approaches its tasks, while remaining devoted to its non-for profit operations principles.

In many ways, those tasks remained the same as in 1945, or even in 1919. But IATA gave them new relevance and focus by redefining its mission and goals in 1994:

  • Safety & security: to promote safe, reliable and secure air services.
  • Industry recognition: to achieve recognition of the importance of air transport worldwide social and economic development.
  • Financial viability: to assist the industry to achieve adequate levels of profitability, by optimizing revenues (yield management) while minimizing costs (fuel, charges and taxation).
  • Products & services: provide high-quality, value for money, industry required products and services that assist the airlines in meeting the needs of the consumer.
  • Standards & procedures: to develop cost-effective, environmentally-friendly, standards to facilitate the operations of international air transport.
  • Industry support: to identify and articulate common industry positions and support the resolutions of key industry issues (congestion, infrastructure).

These objectives proved to be relevant and most were carried over to the new millennium, where they still form most of IATA's current mission.

Next: Ensuring the viability of air transport

Portraits of IATA leaders since 1945