The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expected to finish up 2015 with e-AWB implementation of approximately 45%. However, despite the great progress noted in the second semester, the end result -around 40% - fell well short of the figure forecast. To reverse the situation, 2016 takes off with a new initiative designated e-AWB 360.
This is a voluntary scheme aimed at synchronizing the airlines’ implementation efforts. In other words, it promotes coordinated working among partners to facilitate rollout of this system in places where e-AWB is already up and running.
So far, the top 17 airlines have signed up: American Airlines, Air France, Air Canada, British Airways, China Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Cathay Pacific, Etihad Airways, Finnair, Iberia, KLM, Korean Airlines, Lufthansa, Swiss, Qatar Airways, Saudi Airlines and United Airlines.
Now, the IATA has also selected another 9 airports that comply with the standard operating procedure (SOP). The first to take part, from the month of January, is Schiphol (AMS) in Amsterdam. In February it will be joined by Paris-Charles de Gaulle (CDG) and Frankfurt Am Main (FRA). To round off the quarter, in March, it will be the turn of London-Heathrow (LHR), Milan-Malpensa (MXP), Zurich (ZRH), Johannesburg-Oliver Reginald Tambo (JNB), Dubai (DXB) and Singapore (SIN).
The e-AWB 360 initiative focuses on providing the e-AWB to all destinations and customers of these 9 airports. The airlines taking part in the project the take to bring this system to all their customers through their network. In fact, many have already begun to send notice to logistics operators, explaining the advantages and the need to exchange AWB in electronic format, as well as other documents.
In addition to this initiative, the IATA has set the objective for 2016 of increasing cooperation with the authorities to encourage the opening of more commercial routes. The organization also aims promote harmonization of procedures in the sector and provide greater support through new tools and implementation guides. Taking all of this into account, the target for this year is to achieve 56% global penetration of e-AWB.