IATA’s Innovation Sprints are rapid innovation activities to address a specific tangible challenge. By avoiding lengthy processes, innovators can focus of one specific issue and its potential solutions. These small-scale challenges can be completed by a small group of essential stakeholders (e.g., airlines and technology companies) over a limited amount of time.

Because of COVID-19 situation, the Innovation Sprints scheduled for 2020 have been put on hold but should resume shortly. Please join our Partners for Transformation network (free) and we will inform you of our upcoming sprint plan as soon as it is available.

What is an IATA Sprint?

An IATA Innovation Sprint is essentially led by IATA to investigate, explore and/or develop an idea based on an existing industry challenge. There are three different types of sprints:

  1. Ideation sprint: brainstorm ideas on a specific business issue or theme.
  2. Proof of concept (poc) sprint: develop a poc or pilot on a specific topic
  3. Business case sprint: develop a business case on a specific topic


Focus on Innovation Sprints

Sprints can be initiated throughout the year. All sprints will include a clear agreement on a specific timeframe to start and end the sprint (e.g. three weeks to six months), a specific team and a specific topic or challenge to address with desired outcome(s).

Sprints vary in range and complexity depending on the subject matter and deliverables, but there are clear benefits:

  • Create value
  • New growth opportunities – invest small with potential large returns
  • Fail fast – sprints are generally short and easier to cut if not producing the desired outcomes – minimizing time and money spent on failed initiatives.
  • Real results in little time – it is fast-paced, and deliverables allow for tangible results

Interested airline, technology company and other relevant partners with appropriate subject matter expertise are encouraged to join the sprints. If you are interested, then please fill in the form on the   Partners for Transformation page.

Sprint: NDC/ONE Order Onboarding


As carriers adopt NDC and move to using APIs there are extra considerations they will need to make that fall outside a standard adoption. This includes reviewing processes and adapting them to the new landscape. An example of such a process is the onboarding of travel entities to the airline system. Airlines need to ensure security measures are stringent enough to limit fraud but also streamlined enough so that there is quick turnaround in connecting travel entities.

Sprint scope

The above outlines a longer-term project that will be completed in phases. The sprint was initiated to focus on one aspect of the project - to develop the user interface that will be piloted with British Airways.  Once this sprint is complete, then another sprint will be initiated to develop a business case.