Airlines, posts to cooperate on making airmail faster, more reliable

Trade association leaders shake hands over agreement

The International Air Transport Association (IATA), representing most of the world’s airlines, and the International Post Corporation (IPC) committed on Feb. 18 to reinforce cooperation aimed at promoting the expansion of safe, secure and efficient airmail and air cargo services.

The IPC is a cooperative of 25 postal operators that helps the postal industry set standards, engage in research, and share ideas. 

“International e-commerce is growing at around 20% per year, leading to rapidly changing market conditions for airlines and posts. Ensuring customers get their packages on time while safety and security in postal air transport is maintained is the main priority for posts and air transport operators alike, IATA Director General Alexandre de Juniac said in a statement. “Cooperation across the supply chain is a must and our MoU [memorandum of understanding] with IPC is an important step toward strengthening our activity in this area.” 

According to the MoU, the two groups intend to work together on seven goals: 

  • Improving the security, handover, carriage, delivery and settlement of airmail between postal operators and air carriers. This includes e-commerce, economic and commercial matters.
  • Developing and maintaining industry standards and procedures as well as services and solutions for both physical flows and electronic data interchange relating to airmail. 
  • Aligning existing services and solutions, along with developing new ones to ensure harmonized compatibility and efficient application of resources. 
  • Finding technology-based standards and solutions for piece-level tracking in airmail.
  • Addressing volumetric challenges, through initiatives such as Air Packet Box, and allocation and booking procedures for airmail. 
  • Developing regional onboarding initiatives and global campaigns on airmail process optimization and standardization. 
  • Improving the involvement of ground handlers and other industry stakeholders on matters concerning airmail. 

“Both of our sectors can win from a reinforced cooperation in terms of competitiveness and quality of service. Ultimately, this agreement will benefit consumers through more reliable and faster delivery of cross-border mail and packets transported by air,” said IPC Chief Executive Holger Winklbauer.