IATA Standards

IATA Standards (EDI Logistics Standards)

IATA standards suit offers a comprehensive package of regulations and standards for the air transport industry to promote safety and optimize efficient operations.


IATA Cargo-IMP stands for International Air Transport Association Cargo Interchange Message Procedures. It’s an EDI standard based on EDIFACT created to automate and standardize data exchange between airlines and other parties. It is the legacy standard for exchanging critical cargo operations information. But IATA stopped supporting Cargo-IMP after the 34th edition in 2014. The purpose of this was to utterly focus on extending Cargo Extensible Markup Language (Cargo-XML), a new modern messaging format. Nevertheless, Cargo-IMP is still widely used for electronic messaging in the industry regardless of the lack of enhancement from IATA. The migration from the legacy Cargo-IMP format to Cargo-XML is ongoing.


In 2012, IATA created the IATA Cargo XML standard to replace the IATA Cargo-IMP standard. In 2014, IATA released its 34th edition to IATA Cargo-IMP and announced that was the last update to the protocol, with all further updates moving to IATA Cargo XML. The launch of IATA Cargo XML was designed to end the aviation industry’s reliance on an EDIFACT-based system and instead update to a more modern web-first standard. IATA CARGO XML, labeled the New Distribution Capability, is part of IATA’s broader Simplifying the Business initiative, originated in 2004 to increase efficiency throughout aviation. It includes innovations such as electronic tickets, bar-coded boarding passes and new self-service baggage options, among others.

The IATA Cargo XML standard enables the same choices to be offered to high street travel shoppers as to those who book directly through airline websites.


The IATA Passenger and Airport Data Interchange Standards (IATA PADIS) is a subset of EDI messages designed for use with both EDIFACT and XML syntaxes. IATA created it specifically as a standardized means of sharing passenger information between airlines, airports, governments and others in the aviation industry. It’s even more specific than the broader IATA Cargo-IMP and Cargo XML standards.

IATA PADIS covers all standard passenger interactions, such as flight check-in updates, boarding pass reprints, baggage transfers, itinerary pricing requests and ticketing control requests, among others. Jointly developed by IATA, its member airlines and Airlines for America (A4A).

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