IATA and the International Union of Railways have agreed a Memorandum of Understanding to address interoperability and international standards.

Transport providers must continue to work together to give passengers “the best of both worlds” when it comes to international travel.

That is according to the International Union of Railways (UIC), following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

The agreement is directed at strengthening the cooperation between both parties in standard setting and interoperability initiatives.

It has a broader focus on encouraging and facilitating the highest standards of data exchange, which will support greater intermodal travel for passengers across the world.

Offering customers a single ticket for rail and air travel gives them the opportunity to choose the best of both worlds by optimising their journey as well as their carbon footprint

“This MoU confirms the desire to really promote multimodality,” said François Davenne, UIC Director General.

“Offering customers a single ticket for rail and air travel gives them the opportunity to choose the best of both worlds by optimising their journey as well as their carbon footprint. 

“In addition, both IATA and UIC are currently developing tomorrow’s digital standards for ticketing applications: to work on established interfaces right from the design phase is an exciting prospect.”

The MoU will look at existing processes from the dual perspectives of both parties, as well as innovative solutions such as IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) and ONE Order initiatives.

Both NDC and ONE Order offer “significant opportunity for value creation” within intermodal travel agreements, IATA said.

Some of the specific areas covered by the MoU are journey planning, reservations and ticketing, check-in and validation control, and accounting and settlement.

IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac welcomed the agreement and said that it would benefit all parties, with the potential to simplify the multimodal travel experience for consumers.

“As customers increasingly seek sustainable travel options, it is important that providers work together to provide seamless exchanges of passengers and passenger information,” de Juniac said. 

“IATA has extensive experience in facilitating standards development to support intramodality and our MoU with UIC is an important step toward strengthening this activity.”

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