IATA delay codes

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IATA Delay Codes were created to help airlines standardize why a commercial flight left late from its departure airport.

Previously every airline had its own system, thus IATA standardized the format of transmission of delay information into delay code. These delay codes express who is responsible for the delay and who will be penalized. Normally, these codes are used in movement messages sent by SITA Telex from the departure airport to the destination airport.

An aircraft on ground costs money, therefore airlines make an effort to minimize ground time. Very often, airlines and aircraft ground handling have contracts based on a Bonus-Malus system, e..g., penalizing the handling agent for delays caused by his staff. Several groups of delay codes are qualified as station delays or airport delays.

Most airlines use the 2-digit numeric codes, but some prefer the alphanumerical format.

Delay Codes starting with 0 (internal)

Delay codes starting with 0 are used for internal airline purposes. Airlines are free to define these codes and to determine particular application fields.

However the following codes are standard, even if some airlines do not use them:
  • 00–05: These codes are left blank so that each airline may develop codes specifically to meet their own individual requirements, e.g., 03: "Three-class system" moving curtain.
  • 06: No gate/stand availability due to own airline activity
  • 07: Aircraft connection by maintenance
  • 08: Aircraft connection by......
  • ...

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