How Do Airlines and Airports Get their IATA Code?

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), the institution that regulates and controls the authorization processes of passenger and cargo transportation by air, provides this authorization by giving various codes to airline companies and airports.

The creation and assignment of these codes is a transaction that can be carried out provided that an airline or airport proves its existence and pays a few thousand USD. Let’s examine how the IATA code is received and its stages:

Online Application for IATA codes

IATA has an online portal for convenient encodings consisting of two digits for airlines (such as LH for Lufthansa) or 3 digits for airports (such as MXP for Milano Malpensa Airport). The airline or airport that wants to get a code must first apply through this portal.

An Airline for an IATA Code

If an airline needs an IATA code, it all starts with an application form. Access to this form is provided by creating a user account on IATA’s website. A fee of $ 5700 is required to apply for the code. Once this application is accepted, registration fees of $ 15,000 followed by annual fee payments of around $ 12,800 for today must be completed. For airlines that were previously registered in IATA, these costs may be lower. (prices may vary and these are written just to give an idea)

Various requirements must be met in order to put an airline into service. One of them is the AOC (Air Operator’s Certicate) Airline, which is a mandatory certificate for an airline carrying passengers, obtains this document after a multi-stage and long process in order to prove that its operations are respectable and safe. The AOC is a valuable document that can be trade by airlines that have gone bankrupt or stopped their operations to a newly established airline for reuse. AOC related procedures differ from country to country. You can access the full list of requirements for obtaining AOC at this link.

airline IATA code
source: airportag.com

Prove Your Airline

Apart from all these processes, you will also need proof that your flight schedules are published. This often means working with OAG or Cirium to make your tariffs official. If you have a charter business model and do not publish your schedule, then other requirements awaits you:

-You have an agreement for any route with an IATA airline

-Join one of several approved telecommunications networks

– Proof of your participation in the “A4A Interlina Trak Agreement (ITA)”.

In addition, official incorporation documents, a breakdown of the company’s shareholders, evidence that you have an agreement with the online reservation system (CRS), and certified translations are among those required if there is any non-English document.

It is Easier for Airports to Have a Code

Under IATA rules, airport owners and states are not actually required to directly apply for a three-digit airport code. On the contrary, an airline that wants to fly to that airport must request this code. With an application fee of $ 5,700 and a few mandatory documents, the code application is made by the airline company.

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