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Overview of IATA Registration

In India, Travel and Tourism are the most prominent and fast-growing industries. Travel Agency is an excellent opportunity for many people in business in our country, and having an IATA Registration can enhance the revenue of your business. It is proof for customers and vendors that the business is a trustworthy and accredited travel agency. It helps the business relationship between travel agents and airlines.

International Air Transport Association (IATA) regulations need that aircraft operator employees and anyone involved in shipping hazardous materials by air receive an IATA Registration before transporting their hazardous or dangerous goods by aeroplane. 

IATA aims at the following mandates:

  • To advertise safe, regular and economical air transportation
  • To foster air commerce
  • To study problems related to the airline industry 
  • To afford a means of communication between air transport agencies and companies. 

IATA has a vital role in the travel trade and civil air transportation. Some of such roles and improvements of IATA are as follows:

  • Contributes a common platform to solve travel trade problems
  • Helps travel agencies and tour operators to authorise and legalise their professionalism
  • Gives integrity to the field of tourism
  • Helps to clarify the travelling process
  • Advice for promotion and development of tourism
  • Assis government in formulating civil aviation policy, paid tourism policy, etc.
  • Lays down rules and regulations for confirmation of travel trade agency or organisation.

IAAI (IATA Agents Association of India)

When IATA started demanding a Bank Guarantee of Rs. 20 Lakhs from Travel Agents, which affected the smaller IATA Agents in India, in 2001, IAAI was founded to safeguard the interests of smaller Agents. The purpose behind introducing IAAI was the betterment of the travel fraternity. 

IAAI is also a member of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA). 

IAAI was established under the Travancore- Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Society Registration Act 1955 of the Kerala Government on 6th June 2001, and its registered head office is in Cochin, Kerala.

IAAI works through its duly elected committees in so many states, ensuring equal representation of members at the National Management Committee for proper and smooth operation. Such elections to National and State Committees are held every two years. The elected State Committees of IAAI are in Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, West Bengal, Delhi and Uttar Pradesh. It also has Ad Hoc Committee Chairmen in Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Karnataka, Orissa and Assam. 

IATA Registration Requirements

At the time of applying for IATA Registration, the following requirements are essential:

  • Financial record and standing agent 
  • Staff capability and qualification
  • Identification and accessibility of premises
  • Security, preservation and procedures

An applicant's financial record and financial standing have a significant role in the IATA Registration process.

The criteria for the financial evaluation of the IATA Registration application in India are as follows:

  • Positive Net Equity
  • Net Equity Dividend by long-term debt and other long-term liability must be more than 0.5.
  • Earnings Before Interest, Taxation, Depreciation, Amortisation and extraordinary items (EBITDA) should be positive except in certain circumstances.
  • Adjusted Current Assets should exceed Current Liabilities.

All Agents should provide financial security during the first two years as an Agent. IATA Registration is not granted until the financial security is provided to IATA. IATA confirms in the written form received directly from the third party supporting that such financial security is valid. Each Travel Agent should provide financial security with a minimum amount prescribed by IATA.

Eligibility to obtain IATA Registration

Following are eligible applicants for obtaining IATA Registration:

  • Sole Owner, Partners, Stockholders, Shareholders (having at least 20% of the shares and listed in IATA records) of the Travel Agency.
  • Any person holding remunerated position, including Directors, Managers, Employees or one who is involved in administration, marketing, finance, operations and/or sale of travel.
  • An Independent Consultant is any person working for a travel agency having a written agreement or contract in compliance with all laws and regulations. 

Benefits of IATA Registration  

Benefits of IATA Registration are as follows:

  • Authorise to sell domestic as well as international tickets
  • An interface for invoicing and payment between the airlines, agents and transport providers.
  • Special/Unique Identification
  • Use of IATA Accredited Agent Logo 
  • Providing visibility and credibility on-premises and website of the Travel Agency
  • Fair dealings with airlines
  • Capability to issue e-tickets on behalf of airlines
  • Training to travel agents
  • Drivers of new Industry Standards
  • Participation in crucial Industry Events
  • Recognition to Travel Agency 

Documents Required for IATA Registration 

Following are the required Documents for IATA Registration:

  • KYC of Travel Agency/Company
  • KYC of Address
  • ROC Documents
  • Organisation chart including Owners and Agency Manager
  • Agency Manager Qualification and Training Certificate
  • Share Agreement, in a case when applying for a Specific Airline or Cargo 
  • Financial statements
  • Bank assurance

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Procedure to obtain IATA Registration

Step by step complete and thorough procedure for obtaining IATA Registration:

  • Applicant reads the Travel Agent Handbook (TAH). It's a guide for IATA members and applicants. It has all the information related to filing an application for Registration and how to stay registered over time. 
  • The applicant then files the application with the appropriate IATA Authority. 
  • In the application, form applicant provides essential details to verify their eligibility as per the requirements.
  • The applicant provides a copy of the Agreement to serve as a branch of a larger corporation if it is a branch of a corporation. 
  • If it is a solo operator, it provides Documents showing that it is such a solo operator and only tour offerings.
  • If it is an agency with multiple agents, then it provides Documents showing that at least one of such agents is meeting the professional criteria to operate as a business in its local area. 
  • In the case of a solo agent, it provides a business license or other certificates or necessary papers as proof of qualification.
  • Applicant can provide its resume if it has worked as IATA accredited agent or airline in the past or provide such information in any other relevant form. It can be a letter from the previous employer, Documents of previous employment, a copy of a prior business card or particular that shows prior knowledge and experience of airline operations and ticketing procedures.  
  • The applicant also provides their financial details, such as copies of professional bank transactions for the previous year, Documents relating to loans or insurance and bank account records showing the deposits and withdrawals for the previous year. These necessary papers and information are provided in chronological order. 
  • The Local AIP assesses the application submitted by the applicant on the basis of financial record and standing, staff's qualification and experience, identification and accessibility of premises and security and procedures. 
  • Applicant pays the requisite fee as demanded by the IATA Authority; mostly, the payment of the fee is made in US Dollars. Such a fee is due when IATA acknowledges receipt of the application. IATA sends an instruction sheet with detailed information on the fee amount and instructions on how to pay. Generally, the payment of the fee is made by credit card only. The fee is different for a different type of applicants, such as it is less when the applicant is a solo agency, whereas it is higher in the case of corporate travel agencies. 
  • AIP contacts the applicant when it feels the requirement for more information or paper works after an initial review of its application and asks for the same.
  • The applicant has to provide such materials as soon as possible. AIP sometimes also asks for the applicant's particular financial statement. 
  • After approval of the application, the applicant is notified in the form of an official letter with the date of the applicant's IATA Registration. A Certificate for the same is also provided to the applicant to display at its office. 
  • The Documents of acceptance and approval show an IATA numeric code, a unique ID that is useful for future transactions.
  • If the concerned Authority turns down the application for IATA Registration, then a notification with the exact reason for rejection is sent to the applicant. The applicant is given a chance to strengthen their application, and it may ask review of its application. Review is requested within 30 days from the day of such rejection of its application.

If the applicant is already a member of IATA and decides to change some basic membership details, he needs clearance from IATA beforehand. Failure to do the same jeopardises the chance applicant's IATA Registration status. 

IATA reserves the right of the applicant to ask for evidence of good financial standings at any point during its membership period. There are periodic and random reviews are required of all IATA members. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) launched this self-registration portal on 29th June 2021 to make it easier for Covid testing labs to join the IATA travel Pass Lab Network.

IATA Training is required for all those persons who are working for transportation of dangerous goods according to IATA DGR. The IATA training rules and regulations are recommendatory for all except aircraft operator employees. Although, most air carriers require compliance with the IATA DGR as a condition of accepting the shipments.

It's a complete guide for IATA members and applicants. It contains all the general standards, rules, and regulations applicable worldwide relating to all essential requirements, including IATA Registration.

Travel Industry Designator Service (TIDS) is a unique code that enables reservations to be recognised by airlines, cruise lines, car rental companies, railway suppliers, hotel chains, and other travel suppliers. TIDS accelerates reservation procedures and makes the applicant's travel business visible by addition of all IATA Global Data Products, but to complete the ticketing process, the TIDS-certified agency would have to partner with a mediator such as a consolidator or any host agency.

IATAN stands for the International Airlines Travel Agent Network. It is identical to what IATA provides, but it's used for US-based travel businesses only. It enables any travel business or representative to issue flight tickets. The difference is only about the US-based location of the travel business and a predefined set of Documents. IATAN works for any US travel business with over two years of experience.

The business registrations required in case of establishing a travel agency business in our country are as follows:

  • Business registration as one of the following:
  1. Private Limited Company
  2. Limited Liability Partnership
  3. One Person Company
  • GST Registration

TAAI stands for Travel Agents Association of India. It is associated with airlines, state Tourism Boards of India and IATA. It works with the Ministry of Tourism, Government of India.

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