The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has scrapped fare calculation rules it considered incompatible with its stated aim of all-electronic ticketing by 2007 and in the face of mounting opposition from business travellers.

In mid-January IATA abolished all International Sales Indicator (ISI) rules, used to charge higher fares for tickets issued outside the country where the journey begins, in a wider set of reforms designed to make the system less burdensome for carriers implementing e-ticketing. IATA says ISI codes will be deleted from tickets, as so many tickets are today issued through the internet, making definitions on an air fare based on the country of origin "no longer valid". Rules governing how stopovers affect prices have also been simplified, with carriers forbidden from passing on stopover charges to customers unless more than 24h.

The association says: "Like all IATA standards, the fare construction rules are constantly updated to reflect the needs of the passengers and the airlines." However, the association had faced charges of being anti-consumer and protecting inefficient flag carriers, particularly from long-haul business traveller groups. Fares for complex itineraries are expected to be lower under the new regime.

Source: Flight International