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Glossary

A

Airline designator
Code designated by IATA to identify an airlines (eg. QF for Qantas Airways).
Airport code/designator
A three letter code used to identify an airport (eg. SYD for Sydney, JFK for New York John F Kennedy Airport).
ASK
Available Seat Kilometres: the measure of a flight’s passenger carrying capacity. Calculated by multiplying the number of seats on an aircraft by the distance travelled in kilometres. Used to measure an airline’s capacity to transport passengers.
ASM
Available seat mile: the measure of a flight’s passenger carrying capacity. Calculated by multiplying the number of seats on an aircraft by the distance travelled in miles. Used to measure an airline’s capacity to transport passengers.
ATC
Air Traffic Control.
Available Seat Kilometre
See ASK.
Available Seat Mile
See ASM.
Available Freight Tonne Kilometre
See AFTK.
AFTK
Available Freight Tonne Kilometres: the measure of a flight’s freight carrying capacity. Calculated by multiplying the number of tonne of freight on an aircraft by the distance travelled in kilometres. Used to measure an airline’s capacity to transport freight.
Air Waybill (AWB or MAWB)
The document made out by or on behalf of the shipper which, when used, evidences the contract between the shipper and carrier(s) forcarriage of goods over routes of the carrier(s).
AWB
See Air Waybill.
AACA
Arab Air Carriers Organisation .
AAPA
Association of Asia Pacific Airlines.
AASA
Airline Association of Southern Africa.
ABTA
Association of British Travel Agents.
ACAC
Arab Civil Aviation Commission.
ACAS
Airborne Collision-Avoidance System (ICAO).
ACC
Airport Consultative Committee (IATA).
ACI
Airports Council International.
ACI
Europe Airport Council International - Europe.
AEA
Association of European Airlines.
AFCAC
African Civil Aviation Commission.
AFRAA
African Airlines Association.
AFTN
Aeronautical Fixed Telecommunications Network.
AGM
Annual General Meeting (IATA).
AITAL
International Association of Latin American Transport (Asociacion Internacional de Transporte Aereo Latinoamericano).
ALPA
Air Line Pilots Association.
ALTA
Association of Latin American Air Transport.
ANS
Air Navigation Services.
ANSP
Air Navigation Services Provider.
AOC
Air Operator’s Certificate.
API
Advance Passenger Information.
APIS
Advance Passenger Information Systems.
APU
Auxiliary Power Unit.
ARINC
Aeronautical Radio Inc (US).
ASA
Air Services Agreement.
ASD
Aeorospace and Defence Industries of Europe.
ASEAN
Association of South East Asian Nations.
ASECNA
Agence pour la Sécurité de la Navigation Aérienne en Afrique et à Madagascar.
ASO
Agency Services Office.
ASPA
Association of South Pacific Airlines.
ASTA
American Society of Travel Agents.
ATA
Air Transport Association of America.
ATAC
Air Transport Association of Canada.
ATAG
Air Transport Action Group.
ATB
Air Transport Association of America.
ATC
Air Traffic Control.
ATK
Available Tonne Kilometre.
ATM
Air Traffic Management.
ATN
Aeronautical Telecommunication Network.
ATNS
Air Traffic and Navigation Services.
ATS
Air Traffic Services.
ATS/DS
Air Traffic Services Direct Speech.
ATSP
Air Traffic Service Providers.
AUC
Air Transport Users Council.
AVNET
A joint ATA/API/IATA Project to develop EDI messages recommended for use for transactions between airlines and companies providing the supply or distribution of aviation fuel and related products and services.

B

Bumped
Airline jargon for a passenger being offloaded from a flight. Most commonly due to a flight being oversold, although ‘bumped’ can also mean being ‘upgraded’ or ‘downgraded’ where a seat in your booked class is not available.
BSP
Billing Settlement Plan. BSP is a system designed to facilitate and simplify the selling, reporting and remitting procedures of IATA Accredited Passenger Sales Agents, as well as improve financial control and cash flow for BSP Airlines.
Booking
The allotment in advance of space or weight capacity of goods.

C

Carrier
An industry term for ‘airline’.
CASM
Cost Per Available Seat Mile: used to compare costs between airlines with the lower the CASM, the lower the cost of transporting a passenger.
Cabotage
The right of an airline of one country to carry domestic traffic within the territory of another carrier.
Consolidators
Third party distributors of airfares, usually to travel agents and travel product wholesalers. The fares are usually discounted compared to the ‘published’ fares set by airlines. Consolidators rarely sell direct to consumers.
City Pair
Term used for cities of departure and destination, eg Sydney to London.
Codeshare
Term used to describe an arrangement where one airline sells seats (the marketing carrier) on a flight operated by another airline (the operating carrier). Both airlines display their respective flight numbers. This is particularly common within airline alliances, such as Star Alliance. eg. Qantas operates QF1 but codeshares this flight with British Airways, who sell seats on the flight as BA7321.
Cargo (CGO)
Also referred to as "goods", means any property carried or to be carried on an aircraft, other than mail or other property carried under terms of an international postal convention, baggage or property of the carrier; provided that baggage moving under an air waybill or a shipment record is cargo.
Carriage
Also referred to as "transportation", means carriage of cargo by air.
Customs
The Government Service which is responsible for the administration ofcustoms law and the collection of duties and taxes.
Customs Clearance
The accomplishment of the Customs formalities necessary to allow goods to enter the country, to be exported or to be placed under another customers procedure.
Customs Clearance Agent
A customs broker or other agent of the consignee designated to perform customs clearance services for the consignee.
CGO
See Cargo.

D

Deregulation
Refers to the deregulation of airline markets and the removal of government controls on pricing and routes permitted to fly.
Dangerous Goods
Articles or substances which are capable of posing a significant risk to health, safety or to property when transported by air.
Description of Goods
Plain language description of the nature of the goods sufficient to identify them at the level required for banking, customs, statistical or transport purposes.
Destination
The ultimate stopping place according to the contract of carriage.

E

ETA
Estimated time of arrival.
EAG
European Action Group.
EASA
European Aviation Safety Agency.
EASO
European Aviation Suppliers Organisation.
EATCHIP
European ATC Harmonisation and Integration Programme.
EBAA
European Business Aviation Association.
ECA
European Cargo Alliance.
ECAC
European Civil Aviation Conference.
ECTAA
Group of National Travel Agents and Tour Operators Associations within the EU.
EDI
Electronic Data Interchange.
ELFAA
European Low Fares Airline Association.
ERA
European Regions Airlines Association.
ESPAS
European Strategic Partnership for Aviation Security.
EU
European Union.
EUROCONTROL
European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation.

F

Flight Plan
Specific information related to the intended flight of an aircraft.
Fleet
The number of aircraft operated by an airline.
Flight number
A designator number assigned by an airline to a flight.
Airlines ‘Freedoms’
Rights granted to a commercial airline of a country to enter and land in another country. For example:
First Freedom
The right to fly over a foreign country without landing there. eg. Sydney-Singapore flying over Indonesia.
Second Freedom
The right to refuel or carry out maintenance in a foreign country en route to another country. eg. London-New York with a refuelling stop in Ireland.
Third Freedom
The right to fly from one’s own country to another. Eg Qantas carrying passengers from Sydney to London as an Australian airline.
Fourth Freedom
The right to fly from another country to one’s own. Eg Qantas carrying passengers from London to Sydney as an Australian airline.
Fifth Freedom
The right to fly between two foreign countries while the flight originates or ends on one’s own country. eg. Northwest flying Sydney to Tokyo before flying to Los Angeles.
Sixth Freedom
The right to fly from a foreign country to another while stopping in one's own country for non-technical reasons. eg. Qantas operating an Auckland to Singapore flight via Sydney.
Seventh Freedom
The right to fly between two foreign countries while not offering flights to one's own country. Eg an American airline offering flights between China and Japan but not to America.
Eighth Freedom
The right to fly between two or more airports in a foreign country while continuing service to one's own country.
Ninth Freedom
The right to do traffic within a foreign country without continuing service to one's own country. eg. An Irish airline operating services between Paris and Frankfurt.
Flight Sector/Segment
Non-stop operation of an aircraft between A and B with corresponding departure and arrival times.
FTK
Freight Tonne Kilometres. The equivalent of RPK for freight. One FTK is one metric tonne of revenue load, carried one kilometre. The sum of FTKs for every segment flown by every aircraft over a specific period is the FTK of an airline over that period.
Freight Tonne Kilometers
See FTK.
FLF
Freight Load Factor: the percentage (%) of AFTK used.
Freight Load Factor
See FLF.
FAA
Federal Aviation Administration.
FAB
Functional Airspace Blocks.
FAL
Facilitation.
FDR
Flight Data Recorder.
FIATA
International Federation of Freight Forwarders Association.
FIR
Flight Information Region.
FMS
Flight Management System.
FOQA
Flight Operations Quality Assurance.
FUAAV
Fedération Universelle des Associations d’Agences de Voyages.

G

Ground Handling Operator
Company that provides ground handling support services to airlines. These may include catering, cleaning, passenger check-in and ticketing and engineering support.
GSA
See General Sales Agent.
GABI
Global Aviation Business Intelligence.
General Sales Agent (GSA)
An agent authorized in a country to handle an airline's export sales/services.
GASAG
Global Aviation Security Action Group.
GATS
General Agreement on Trade in Services (under WTO).
GDS
Global Distribution System.
GNSS
Global Navigation Satellite Systems.
GPS
Global Positioning System.
GPWS
Ground Proximity Warning System.

H

Hub
A major airport used as a ‘base’ for an airline from where they fly to other destinations within their network. Also usually a base for flight crew, cabin crew and maintenance.
HF
High Frequency.

I

ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organisation. A UN specialised agency who are the global forum for civil aviation and works to achieve safe, secure and sustainable development of civil aviation through co-operation amongst member states.
IATA carrier
A carrier that is a member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Interline
Using multiple airlines to fly from A to B where the various airlines used have a formal ticketing and baggage transfer relationship. Eg A ticket for travel from Sydney to Beijing with Qantas and China Eastern Airlines via Shanghai. Qantas carries the passenger from Sydney to Shanghai and China Eastern Airlines carries the passenger from Shanghai to Beijing. The passenger’s luggage is checked in at the start of the journey with Qantas and is handled by the airlines until arrival in Beijing without the passenger having to re-claim the luggage.
IATA
International Air Transport Association.
International Civil Aviation Organisation
See ICAO.
IACA
International Air Carrier Association.
IAHA
International Aviation Handlers’ Association.
IAOPA
International Aircraft Owner and Pilot Associations.
IAPA
International Airline Passengers Association.
ARO
International Air Rail Organisation.
IATAN
International Airlines Travel Agent Network (wholly owned subsidiary of IATA)
IATF
International Airline Training Fund.
ICAO
International Civil Aviation Organisation.
ICCS
IATA Currency Clearance Service.
ICH
IATA Clearing House.
IFALPA
International Federation of Airline Pilots Associations.
IFATCA
International Federation of Air Traffic Controllers’ Associations.
IFSP
In-flight security personnel.
ILS
Instrument Landing System.
IOSA
IATA Operational Safety Audit.
SO
International Standards Organisation.
ISS
IATA Settlement Systems.
ITF
International Transport Workers Federation.
ITSS
IATA Travel Settlement Services.

J

Joint Services Agreement (JSA)
The co-ordination of products and services between two airlines in a particular market. These include scheduling, marketing, sales, freight and customer service activities and usually require regulatory approval. Examples include Qantas and British Airways on the Sydney to London ‘Kangaroo route’, British Airways and American Airlines across the Atlantic and Delta Airlines and V Australia across the Pacific.
JSA
See Joint Services Agreement.

K

Kyoto Convention
International Convention on the simplification and harmonization of customs procedures.

L

Layover
A long, usually over-night, stop between flights usually involving a change of flight number and/or aircraft.
Load Factor
The percentage of seats sold on an aircraft irrespective of fare.
Long Haul
A long distance international flight. Typically inter-continental and of at least six hours in duration.
LACAC
Latin American Civil Aviation Commission.

M

Montreal Convention
The Montreal Convention is a treaty adopted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). It amended the provisions of the Warsaw Convention’s regime concerning compensation for the victims of air disasters.
Minimum Connecting Time (MCT)
the least amount of time an airline allows for a passenger connecting between flights at an airport. If a shorter period of time is used by the passenger it is referred to as an ‘illegal connection’ and the airline may not accept liability for a missed connection.
MCT
See Minimum Connecting Time.
Master Air Waybill (MAWB)
The carrier's airbill issued to cover a consolidated shipment tendered by a forwarder or consolidator.

N

Nett Fare
Fares available for sale specifically by a distributor/s that are negotiated between the individual distributor and the airline.
Network
Airline term for destinations an airline flies to.
Non-endorsable ticket
A ticket issued by an airline that cannot be used to fly with another airline.

O

Overbooking
A practice adopted by airlines where more seats are confirmed on a flight than available on the aircraft. Based on the assumption that a variable percentage of confirmed passengers “no show” for the flight.
Offloaded
An airline term used to describe where a passenger has been removed from a flight just before departure. The most common reasons are flight over-booking or passengers being late for boarding.
Open Jaw
Term used to describe two segments on an airline ticket where a passenger flies into one airport and out of another.
Open Skies
Refers to a bilateral or multilateral agreement for air transport providers where government regulation of activity between parties is minimised, eg EU/US open skies agreement.

P

Published fare
A fare “published” by an airline and available for sale to everyone (as distinct from “nett” fares) either directly by the airline or a third party distributor (eg. travel agent).
PLF-Passenger Load Factor
See Load Factor.
PAAST
Pan-American Aviation Safety Team.
PATA
Pacific Asia Travel Association.
PNR
Passenger Name Record. An airline industry term for a passenger’s reservation file with an airline identified by a six figure alphabetical and numerical code.
PRM
Persons with Reduced Mobility.

R

Route
Consecutive links in a network served by single flight numbers, eg QF1 operates SYD/BKK/LHR as a single route.
Rerouting
The route to be followed as altered from that originally specified on the AWB.
RASM
Revenue per Available Seat Mile: used to compare revenue between airlines. Determined by dividing operating revenue by available seat miles (ASM).
RNAV
Area Navigation.
RNP
Required Navigation Performance.
RTKM
Revenue Tonne Kilometre.
Revenue per Available Seat Mile
See RASM.

S

Spill
Passengers denied booking due to capacity restrictions.
Short Haul
A short flight usually domestic or regional on nature, typically lasting less that six hours in duration.
Segment
A clearly identifying part of a journey usually between two cities and involving one departure and one arrival. It is distinct from a ‘flight’, which may incorporate stop-overs even where only one flight number is used.

T

Transit
A period of time spent between flights.
Tariff
The published rates, charges and related rules of a carrier.
The Air Cargo Tariff (TACT)
Rules, regulations and rates published for international air shipments.
TACT
See The Air Traffic Cargo Tariff.
Through Cargo
Cargo staying on board at a stopping place en-route for ongoing carrier on the same flight.
Transfer
Movement of cargo from one carrier to another against transfer manifest.
Transfer Cargo
Cargo arriving at a point by one carrier and continuing it's journeyThere from by another carrier.
Transfer Manifest (TRM)
The document executed by the transferring carrier upon transfer of interline cargo and endorsed by the receiving carrier as a receipt for theconsignment transferred.
Transferring Carrier
The participating carrier transferring the consignment to another carrier at a transit point.
Trans Shipment
The unloading of cargo from one flight and loading onto another foronward carriage.
Transit
An enroute stopping place where cargo remains on board.
Transit Cargo
Cargo arriving at a point and departing by another flight.
TCAA
Transatlantic Common Aviation Area.
TCAS
Traffic Collision Avoidance System (US-FAA).
TIACA
International Air Cargo Association.
TSA
Transportation Security Administration.
TWIC
Transport Worker ID Card.
TRM
See Transfer Manifest.

U

ULD Control Receipt (UCR)
A voucher of transfer ULD signed by transferring and receiving carriers which is used to retrieve ULD and for account settlement of ULD demurrage.
Unit Load Device (ULD)
A container or pallet used to transport cargo on an aircraft.Valuable Cargo (VAL) Shipments of high value requiring advance arrangement and special handling.
ULD
See Unit Load Device.
UCR
See ULD Control Receipt.

V

VAT
Value-Added Tax

W

VHF
Very High Frequency.
WATS
World Air Transport Statistics.
WHO
World Health Organisation.
WTO
World Tourism Organisation.
WTO-OMC
World Trade Organisation (formerly GATT).
WTTC
World Travel and Tourism Council.

Y

Yield
Airline term for revenue per unit, eg revenue per mile per passenger.
Yield Management:
The management, by airlines, of revenue based on the assumption that:
  • There is a fixed amount of resource available for sale (eg the number of seats on a plane)
  • The resources are perishable and time limited after which they become valueless (eg airline seats unsold on a flight perish once the flight departs)
  • That the cost of the seat (the common resource) is variable depending on the terms of sale (eg airlines reduce the unit price on flights where there are many unsold seats and increase the unit price on flights where there are few available seats, thereby maximising the amount of average revenue generated per seat mile on a particular flight.