Airline Tariff Publishing Company
The Airline Tariff Publishing Company, ATPCO, or ATP, is a corporation that publishes the latest airfares for more than 500 airlines multiple times per day. Based at Washington Dulles International Airport outside of Washington, D.C., ATPCO also has offices in Miami, Florida; London, UK; and Singapore. ATPCO is owned by a number of US and international airlines.
ATPCO provides fare data in an electronic format with the encoded rules associated with those fares, which make the information suitable for computer processing. The only competitor to ATPCO is SITA, who distributes some fares in Asia, Africa and Europe.
The users of the data are Global Distribution Systems (GDS), such as Sabre, Amadeus, Travelport, and their associated travel agents; the Computer Reservation Systems (CRS) of airlines; online travel agencies such as Expedia, Orbitz, and Travelocity; and other service providers in the travel industry. Because the data is formatted for computer processing, the latest fares can be loaded automatically, allowing these new fares to be sold quickly.
Fares are distributed hourly each day (except for a few hours on Saturday and Sunday) for international markets, and four times a weekday and once Saturday and Sunday in US/CA markets. Airlines carefully monitor new public fares filed by their competition for publication through ATPCO. Once the fares have been distributed by ATPCO, airlines detect the action of other airlines increasing or decreasing their fares for specific connections, and then use this information to set their own pricing strategy. For instance, if they see a competitor introducing special promotional pricing between two cities, they may want to quickly react by filing their own special fares through ATPCO for that market.
The Air Traffic Conference of America, a body within the Air Transport Association of America (ATA), was founded in 1945 to publish passenger tariffs (fares). In 1958 it assumed publication of freight tariffs, formerly produced by Air Cargo, Inc., and in 1965 the group divested from ATA as an independent company, Airline Tariff Publishers, Inc. It was reorganized and took its current name in 1975.