IATA codes are an integral part of the travel industry, and essential for the identification of an airline, its destinations and its traffic documents. They are also fundamental to the smooth running of hundreds of electronic applications which have been built around these coding systems for passenger and cargo traffic purposes.
Airlines as well as railway, bus and ferry companies, computer reservations systems (CRSs) and ULD owners/leasing companies may be assigned an IATA two character designator code.
Accounting or prefix codes: This code is meant for transport documents (e.g. the accounting code 076 at the beginning of a ticket number identifies it to be a traffic document of Middle East Airlines). The same number can be used for cargo documentation and is known as an "airline prefix".
Baggage tag issuer code
This code is available for airlines that do not qualify for IATA codes but operate at airports with automated baggage sortation systems.
Location identifiers (e.g. GVA = Geneva)
Airlines and CRSs may request the assignment of a unique three-letter code to identify an airport. Bus, rail or ferry locations may be eligible for an IATA location identifier if these locations are involved in intermodal airline travel.
Location Identifier Code – Application (pdf)
For more information on IATA airline codes, please contact airline coding.