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The IATA Digital Innovation Program gathers a community of Airlines, Digital Innovation Strategic Partners, and startup from Accelerate@IATA. It delves into and examines current digital trends within the realm of air travel technologies.

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Welcome to our Digital Innovation Ecosystem!

A space where members of the travel value chain come together to solve industry-wide challenges. We take aspirational ideas and transfrom them into applicable solutions for the industry which can be put into practice.

As a member of this community, you will have access to a variety of Innovation Webinars, Roundtables, Innovation Sprints, and the opportunity to pitch new product ideas to the IATA Digital Transformation and Innovation team, IATA subject matter experts, and selected airlines.

Want to Join our Digital Innovation Ecosystem?

If you are not an airline nor a selected startup from Accelerate@IATA Program, participation to the Digital Innovation Ecosystem requires joining our Strategic Partnership Program.


The IATA Innovation Lab is an evolution from Think Tanks and this platform has been established to foster innovation and collaboration within the aviation industry. It aims to bring together various stakeholders from Digital Innovation community to explore and develop innovative solutions to the challenges faced by the industry.

This Lab offers tools, such as sprints and proof of concepts (PoCs), to enable its members to collaborate and develop innovative solutions. 


Sprints are time-bound, collaborative workshops where participants work together to solve a specific challenge faced by the industry. PoCs, on the other hand, are small-scale projects designed to test and validate new ideas or solutions.

Through these programs, the IATA Innovation Lab provides its members with the opportunity to experiment with new technologies, test ideas, and collaborate with other members to develop innovative solutions. This helps to accelerate the pace of innovation within the aviation industry and drive growth and efficiency.

Proof of Concepts (PoCs) 

The purpose of a PoC is to provide evidence that a particular idea or concept can be implemented successfully and that it has the potential to deliver value. By testing a PoC, innovators can identify any technical or practical challenges that may need to be addressed before the idea can be scaled up or commercialized.

End-to-End Digital Identity PoC 2023

Digital identity encompasses electronically captured attributes and credentials that can uniquely identify individuals using a passenger's biometric information. For the past year, our team of internal subject-matter experts and industry partners have been working round-the-clock on a Digital Identity PoC. This PoC brings together the industry to collaborate on simplifying the passenger journey, and creating a seamless travel experience for customers.

Want to learn more about the project?

Challenges Today

In today's air travel, passengers must repeatedly prove their identity to various entities, including airlines, airports, and governments, through physical identity documents. This process is burdened with challenges:

  • Over-sharing of unnecessary passenger data.
  • Vulnerability to forgery, tampering, and loss of physical IDs.
  • Limited methods for verifying physical documents.
  • Reliance on human intervention, leading to airport congestion.

Digital Identity as a Solution

Decentralized digital identity empowers passengers be in control of their identity.

  • Sharing only the minimum required information with consent.
  • Enhanced privacy through secure communication between issuers (airlines, airports, governments, or third parties) and passengers, as well as verifiers (e.g., immigration).
  • Mitigation of cybersecurity risks.

Benefits of Decentralized Digital Identity

Various stakeholders stand to gain from adopting decentralized digital identity:


  • Enhanced privacy protection.
  • Reduced or eliminated physical document checks.
  • Streamlined, contactless airport experiences.


  • Increased trust in identity verification.
  • Improved privacy protection.
  • Enhanced customer experience through biometric technology.

Governments & Airports

  • Enhanced trust in identity verification conducted by airlines and airports.
  • Efficient processing of passengers in advance.
  • Automation of border processes.

Embracing decentralized digital identity promises to transform the air travel experience, making it more efficient, secure, and user-friendly for all stakeholders.

Our Partners

We take great pride in our collaboration with industry partners on this project. Together, we are dedicated to sharing ideas and working towards the future success of this Digital Identity PoC. Our combined efforts and commitment to innovation are driving this initiative forward, and we are excited about the possibilities it holds.

Strategic Partners




Supporting Organizations

Do you want to get involved? Contact us

The Innovation Days bring together the Digital Innovation Community to discuss the current industry priorities defined by the Digital Transformation Advisory Council (DTAC), one of the Advisory Councils.

The key objectives of these conferences are:

  1. Encourage creative thinking and collaboration among participants
  2. Share knowledge and best practices
  3. Build networks and partnerships
  4. Identify new opportunities for innovation and solve specific industry challenges
  5. Showcase and promoting innovative ideas and solutions
  6. Inspire and motivate participants to continue innovating and collaborating beyond the conference


The upcoming Innovation Days conference will take place on 25 and 26 April, 2024 in Geneva, Switzerland.

The conference will be a two-day program, allowing time for various activities,including roundtable discussions,panels and presentations.

Registration is now open to airlines, Digital Innovation Strategic Partners, startups associated with accelerate@IATA program, and invited members of the IATA Innovation Ecosystem.

Past Editions

Innovation Day - 28th June, 2023.

Access the event program (pdf), presentations (pdf), Generative AI paper(pdf) and pictures.

Innovation Day - 31st May, 2022.

Access the agenda from 2022 edition (pdf)

The AIR Think Tank was initiated in 2018, building on the success of its predecessor, the Simplifying the Business (StB) Think Tank. The module for innovation discovery was relaunched in 2023 when the Think Tanks were replaced by the Innovation Lab

AIR Think Tank 2022

The AIR Think Tank focused on retail and distribution topics. The team worked on the following ideas:

Trust Me, Know My Needs: the customer will have their needs met throughout their journey, thanks to this envisioned process of providing easily verifiable credentials. The customer (or delegated authority, such as a parent or caregiver) will store these credentials within their digital wallet, which proves and unlocks entitlement to a specific service and/or set of offerings.

Addressing Extreme Look-to-Book Ratios: providing a portfolio of approaches to enable airlines to address extreme look-to book ratios, like: API monitoring and subsequent techniques to manage traffic, offer repositories and a variety of additions to and evolutions of the standards and documentation for specific shopping use cases.

Metaverse: Simplify and enhance the travel shopping experience by moving away from complex shop, price, book, pay, ticket processes, towards a form of retail built around customer’s needs, desires, aspirations, and dreams.

Read the AIR Think Tank white paper 2022 (pdf)

AIR Think Tank 2021

The AIR Think Tank focused on retail and distribution topics. The team worked on the following ideas:

Clairvoyant: Foreseeing demand and supply of goods and services by considering time of day, traveler profile, routine, and preferences to better meet customer needs.

Construct-o-matic: Deconstructing the travel industry into “lego-style” building blocks of capabilities to enable a more flexibility, remove barriers, and provide a resilient end-to-end experience for the customer.

Window of the Future: Simplify and enhance the travel shopping experience by moving away from complex shop, price, book, pay, ticket processes, towards a form of retail built around customer’s needs, desires, aspirations, and dreams.

Read the AIR Think Tank white paper 2021 (pdf)

Digital and Data Think Tank 2021

The just-launched Digital and Data Think Tank focused on different areas of digitalization. The team worked on the following ideas:

Customer First: Create a truly customer-centric traveler’s journey where the customer, enabled by technology, can in his or her travel and retail experience enjoy maximum benefit with minimal effort.

Shopping Data: By leveraging the future airline capabilities based on offers and orders only, and by linking legacy and new sources of data (previously not available to airlines), a powerful data architecture can provide better tailored service and added value to the flying public and the airline ecosystem.

AI and Environment: Airlines are equipped to track, manage, and eliminate their environmental impact using AI and digital technology.

Read the Digital and Data Think Tank white Paper 2021 (pdf)

Financial Think Tank 2021

Scope: Cash Management and Payments
The Financial Think Tank focused on two ideas:

Central Bank Digital Currency in airline retailing.
Foreign currency exchange opportunities in the world of 100% Offers and Orders


  • Airlines: Copa Airlines, Etihad, Finnair, Hahn Air, Kenya Airways, Lufthansa, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Air Maroc, United Airlines, Emirates, KLM, Swiss and Turkish
  • Partners: Amadeus, Kantox, Mastercard, Visa, UATP, Worldpay

White Paper

The 2021 Financial Think Tank recently closed and completed the white paper ready for download now! The team brainstormed ideas focusing on payments and currency. More specifically, the ideas the team worked on were: Central bank digital currencies in airline retailing and Foreign currency exchange opportunities in the world of 100% Offers and Orders.

Read the Financial Think Tank White Paper 2021 (pdf)


In addition to the white paper, the team also created videos to further discuss the ideas in the paper. Since there was no physical World Financial Symposium in 2021, the team still felt that the white paper would be better supplemented by the videos and presentation of these ideas virtually.

Access the Central Bank Digital Currency in Airline Retailing video.

Access the Foreign Currency Exchange Opportunities in the world of Orders and Offers video.

AIR Think Tank 2020

The 2020 edition of the AIR Think Tank refocused its scope to support the industry during the COVID-19 crisis. The team worked on three ideas that are elaborated in the 2020 AIR Think Tank White Paper:

Customer as a Reference: Building off the TrulyMe idea from the 2019 AIR Think Tank, this concept leverages technology advances made by the One ID project and extends the use of the technology from facilitation use cases to distribution.

Emerging Products and Services: This idea looks at retailing in general, with two driving objectives: 1- facilitate the onboarding and integration of API providers (including start-ups) by airlines and 2- improve the retailing capacity of airlines (not limited to ancillaries, but all kinds of products).

Trust and Resiliency: Focuses on building customer confidence in the retail experience. The intent is to provide customers with choice and transparency through further unbundling and travel flexibility, but still (re)building a solid revenue optimization model.

Read the AIR Think Tank White Paper 2020 (pdf)