‚ÄčAccelerate@IATA is the first industry-owned travel tech accelerator where airlines and startups converge for innovation.

It is lead by IATA and the Silicon Valley innovation platform 'Plug and Play', created to help airlines get access to new technologies and cutting-edge startups.

"IATA is committed to supporting airlines in their restart activities and Accelerate@IATA has been redesigned to contribute to this effort. The team has already identified technologies to showcase all of this and we are looking forward to offering our members access to them through Accelerate@IATA."

Muhammad Ali Albakri - IATA

Accelerating the Industry Restart

Last year, the accelerator was focused on assisting airlines in their digital retailing journey. The aim of Accelerate@IATA has now shifted to the industry’s restart priorities, such as stimulating demand, enhancing passenger confidence, and increasing operational efficiency. Supplying greater speed, agility, and technical expertise, Accelerate@IATA is intended to stimulate new solutions to support airlines in these activities.

Focus on Accelerate@IATA

Quickly facilitate pilots and implementations between airlines and startups who have interesting solutions and proven track records, targeting key industry business challenges. 

  1. ACCELERATE: The primary objectives are to find solutions for airlines that accelerate standard development & adoption of standards, and stimulate competition to bring new entrants to the market.
  2. IDENTIFY & SELECT RELEVANT STARTUPS: Collaboratively, the partners define the focus of the program and select the startups that best fit their needs.
  3. MAP SOLUTION & DEMAND: During the 1-month program, IATA subject matter experts help the startups to develop innovative solutions to meet airline requirements and take care of the onboarding work, freeing up airline resources.
  4. IMPLEMENTATION: The goal is to start a pilot and implementation between new entrants and airline partners at the end of the program.

Accelerate@IATA will run 4 30-day ‘segments’ in 2020 tailored to help airlines with their restart goals. Each segment will be limited to up to 8 airlines and 5 – 10 startups. Our accelerator supports selected startups through education, mentorship, and, potentially, with financing from corporate partners.

Find out more in the Accelerate@IATA brochure (pdf)


  • Access to global, stage-agnostic startups and technology providers that have the potential to increase airline revenues, reduce costs, increase operational efficiency and build brand loyalty
  • Savings on innovation costs compared to internal development
  • Access to new technologies that meet the industry standards.
  • Startups and technologies double vetted by IATA and Plug and Play to ensure they meet industry guidance/standards, and that the startups are financially viable.
  • Focus on broad Industry Restart initiatives, tailored to airlines’ restart plans
  • Shorter program reducing time to market
  • Dedicated Accelerate Innovation Partner and Project Manager throughout the whole cycle
  • Access to IATA’s global network of airlines and value chain partners for pilot and implementation opportunities
  • Access to expertise and market knowledge
  • Industry mentorship

Batch "Restart"

For 2020, the program will operate 4 segments for a period of 1 month each, around the industry restart priorities.

SEGMENT 1 (15 Sept - 15 Oct) - ANTICIPATE DEMAND :
Understand demand and adjust supply 

  • Supply and demand trend analysis and new ways of forecasting
  • Using data to identify intent to travel (airline, hotel), passenger sentiment
  • Demand driven capacity planning and coordination: maintaining supply against travel restrictions in a rapidly changing environment

Selected startups: 3Victors, Migacore, Flyr Labs, Airnguru, Prevedere, PredictHQ, Volantio

You can access here to the Session Recording.

Incentivize passengers to fly again

  • New products during/after covid, offer flexibility, and ancillaries, including insurance (cancellation, quarantine fees, etc.)
  • Leverage destination marketing incentives (vouchers, rebates, tax) to benefit airlines
  • Restore connectivity – facilitating new types of partnerships
  • Visa Facilitation

Selected startups: GoQuo, Caravelo, HiKoala, Plusgrade, Smartvel, Dohop, Deepair, AirBlackBox

You can access here to the Session Recording.

Restore passenger confidence and improve experience on the ground

  • Contactless, Seamless Journey
  • Traveler Safety & Communication
  • Improve Customer Interaction with airlines and authorities
  • Increase Revenue per Passenger (incl. through Onboard Experience)

You can access here to the Session Recording.

Optimize, automate and increase efficiency and processes.

  • Planning and scheduling to support recovery.
  • Reduce Turn Around Time
  • Biosafety (aircraft cleaning and sanitation)
  • Automating operational processes
  • Seat Management Optimization

You can access here to the Session Recording.


  • Improving Customer Service
  • New ancillaries through mobility as a service
  • Contactless baggage operations
  • In-cabin mobility management
  • Enhanced and contactless IFE

You can access the list of startups through our Segment 5 Startup Booklet and Session Recording.


The short-term and long-term issues surrounding health credentials in the aviation industry and how to give passengers control over their data.

  • Digital and Verifiable Credentials
  • Data Security and Privacy
  • Precision Testing
  • Interoperability
  • The Global Trust Framework for Health Credentials.

Selected startups: Mattr, Accredify, Convergence.tech, ixlayer, Evernym.

SEGMENT 7 ( 22 Jun - 20 Aug) - SUSTAINABILITY:
With Environment and Sustainability being one of IATA's four pillars, the Segment 7 deep dive is our first of two Environment & Sustainability-focused deep dives. 

  • Environmental Footprint & Carbon Offsetting 
  • Reducing Single-Use Plastics 
  • Waste Management & Prevention 
  • Sustainability Process & Reporting Management

You can access the list of startups through our Segment 7 Startup Booklet and Session Recording.

Our second Environment and Sustainability deep dive with focus on how airlines can better use artificial intelligence and data to reduce their impact on the environment. 

  • Route and Fuel Optimization
  • Waste Reduction
  • Wildlife Smuggling/Pandemic Prevention

You can access the list of startups through our Segment 8 Startup Booklet.




How does it work?

Each segment consists of the following activities to facilitate and support pilots and implementations of new technologies : 

  • Deep Dive Session – airlines will listen to the startups' pitches. 
  • Survey - airlines will rank the startups and decide which ones they want to hear more about (up to 3)
  • 1:1 Call - airline, startup, and Accelerate@IATA innovation team partner will set up a call to hear more about the startups’ solutions
  • Selection - airline choses which startup(s) they want to work with
  • Curriculum - airline informs the innovation team partner of any concerns in the solution. IATA subject matter experts work with the startup to improve their solution and provide insights into the industry. Thus, the Accelerate@IATA team does the onboarding work instead of using airline resources.
  • Weekly calls - Accelerate@IATA innovation team partner will set up weekly calls to ensure deadlines are being met and the solution is progressing quickly
  • Pilot/Implementation phase - after the 30-day program, the goal is to kick-off a pilot/implementation between the airline and startup. An IATA project manager may be assigned to help facilitate this.

For more details download the brochure (pdf)  



Committed to supporting airlines as they continue their digital retailing journey, Accelerate@IATA has already launched Batch 0 in 2019 and Batch 1 in 2020, both focused on accelerating the solutions of NDC aggregators in order to help distribute more NDC content.

Batch 1 - 2020

The focus areas for Batch 1 targeted offers and products within product differentiation covering the following areas: NDC, ONE Order, dynamic offerings, innovative payments and sustainability. In February 2020, 9 startups (30k, App in the air, Smooss, Bacarai, Deepair, WonderMiles, Ulysse, Aeronology, Airnguru) from around the world were selected based on their new solutions that can help airlines in these areas.

Prior to launch of Batch 1, the COVID-19 pandemic began and the batch was put on hold.

Batch 0 - 2019

The focus of Batch 0 was to accelerate NDC Capabilities, that addressed the industry’s current distribution limitations such as product differentiations, time-to-time market and access to full and rich air content and transparent shopping experience.

The following 7 startups participated in the program and addressed the following areas. For more information, check out Batch 0 report (pdf).

Startup Areas Addressed
  • NDC
  • CRM/Loyalty, Analytics, Other
  • Revenue Management
  • Airline Profile
  • NDC Aggregator
  • Offer Management & Merchandizing
  • NDC Aggregator
  • Pricing
  • CRM/Loyalty, Analytics, Other
PK Fare
  • NDC Aggregator
  • NDC Aggregator
  • Pricing
  • Airline Profile
  • NDC Aggregator

Innovative solutions, tangible impact

At the end of Batch 0, 13 pilots and implementations were launched, with another 30+ in the pipeline!


How startup Winglet pivoted their solution to be more relevant for the industry.


Winglet first pitched their product in July 2019. It was focused on a customer adaptive pricing engine. They were selected by the industry to join Accelerate, with the caveat that their solution was a few steps too far in the future for what the industry currently needs.

Through the Accelerate@IATA program of educational curriculum, mentorship, workshops and 1:1 meetings with technical experts and other IATA SMEs, they pivoted their solution to focus on Smart Routing. This solution would be able to maximize conversion rates for sellers, showing relevant offers to the right customer, changing an anonymous shopping request to a conversion.

Using their solutions, airlines can select the most relevant offers for the client, save significant computing cost, and customers are 3x more likely to purchase the recommended offers. At the Accelerate@IATA Winter Summit in February 2020, Winglet was chosen as Batch 0’s Best in Batch by over 250 industry members!