At the Heart of the Airline Industry
Interline relationships are a vital enabler of the travel industry providing traffic for airlines and connectivity for passengers, while allowing one airline to sell to a customer services provided by another airline, such as itineraries that they would otherwise not be able to serve alone.
Today's interline environment is complex, presents limits and is hard to reach for other players that are non-IATA Members. At the direction of the IATA Board of Governors, IATA member airlines are currently exploring opportunities to reinvigorate the IATA multi-lateral interline framework.
The Journey of Interlining
The IATA Interline framework originated as international markets were liberalized and competition increased. Since then multilateral interline continued to be important, but has evolved. Interline now occurs more within closer commercial arrangements such as codeshare agreements, joint ventures (JVs) and alliance groupings.
Today, IATA interline framework relies on IATA standards to support common processes around scheduling, reservations, ticketing, pricing, baggage, departure control, irregular operations, interline billing and settlement.
The global COVID-19 pandemic has led to most airlines suspending scheduled passenger operations so new interline relationships may be a key enabler of industry recovery.
- New Partnerships, New Partners, New Opportunities!
New interline partnerships are a key enabler of recovery! Our members have been working on improving the multilateral interline framework as new partnerships should be quicker and simpler to establish. System providers are also innovating in this space. During this webinar they have presented how their solutions facilitate seamless contact between partners. Recordings (pdf) are available.
- Reinvigoration of the Multilateral Interline Framework
This webinar provided an overview on the current interline framework, tools available to support interline as well as the work that is underway with member airlines to simplify the formation of new interline partnerships. Recordings (pdf) are available.
Please also check our FAQs list (pdf) to get more insights.
Current Interline Framework
IATA interline framework facilitates a standard model of interline that is used between IATA member airlines and as well by other airlines.
IATA aims to educate throughout this document on the tools already available today to enable industry restart through multilateral interlining.
MITA standard is a single interline agreement which establishes the legal framework and describes responsibilities, liability provisions and general procedural obligations under which IATA and non-IATA member airlines may concur to create partnership agreements. MITA will be further enhanced to enable faster and seamless engagement between parties.
- IATA Prorate Agency administers other multilateral agreements
Airlines engaged in the interlining of passengers and cargo depend on settlement agreements to assist in the determination of each airline's revenue. These agreements are referred to as the Multilateral Prorate Agreement-Passenger (MPA-P) and the Multilateral Prorate Agreement-Cargo (MPA-C).
Future of Interline
The IATA Distribution Advisory Council has initiated a work package to explore changes to the current interline framework. This will involve explorations into the legal, financial, distribution and operational frameworks that support partnerships within the industry. More information on the status of the discussions is available on IATA Future of Interline.
Industry standards simplify common processes, reduce cost and complexity
The development of standards concerning interactions between airlines and other parties for the purposes of exchanging information about which services are intended to be made available to whom and the management of any corresponding reference data is overseen by the IATA Plan Standards Board.
Resolution changes and new Recommended Practices
At the direction of the IATA Board of Governors, IATA member airlines are exploring opportunities to reinvigorate the IATA multilateral interline framework which may be key for industry restart as it creates opportunities to pursue new and more varied relationships to support networks and maintain connectivity. All these related interline activities are driven by the IATA Interline Group under the Plan Standards Board.
Considerations for airlines in case of Interline
Disruption situations can be an opportunity for airlines to provide an overall excellent customer experience. The Guidance paper on Irregular Operations (IROPs) (pdf.) for airlines talks about clear and effective processes in place to ensure these situations are handled smoothly to minimize customer distress and inconveniences.
Addressing and establishing smooth baggage processes when forming new interline partnerships might be an extensive and challenging task. The Guidance paper on Baggage Standards for Interlining (pdf) details the key aspects airlines should consider with their new interline partners and the standard processes to support these discussions.
In case you have questions or you would like to be part of these initiatives contact us.
New interline relationships will be a vital enabler of industry recovery. Airlines may need to pursue more varied partnerships to support their networks and to allow them to serve more origin–destination markets.
IATA built the Interline Information Repository (xls) to assist airlines in identifying potential partners.
Airlines wishing to make their information available in this repository are welcome to contact us.
About the Repository
This repository is for general information purposes only. The information contained in this document and provided by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) does not purport to be commercial, legal or other advice. Nothing contained in this document constitutes a recommendation, endorsement or preference by IATA.
The data has been compiled based on publicly available information gathered directly from airlines. IATA reserves the right at its sole discretion, but does not have the obligation, to modify, delete, edit, change and add any information in this document. For the complete set of information regarding an airline’s interline information, please refer to the airline contact information or relevant links provided in the repository.
Disclaimer and limitation of liability
IATA does not warrant or guarantee the accuracy, completeness, adequacy or currency of the information contained in this document or the correctness of the information originating from any of the sources relied upon. IATA does not assume, and expressly disclaims, any liability to any person(s) or entities for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions in this document or misinterpretation of the contents hereof. Furthermore, IATA expressly disclaims any and all liability to any person or entity in respect of anything done or omitted, and the consequences of anything done or omitted, by any such person or entity in reliance on the contents of this document.