Iata is appealing to all airline passengers to wear face coverings, following some cases of "violent resistance".
Wearing face coverings is a key recommendation of the International Civil Aviation Organization’s guidance for safe operations during the pandemic, as developed jointly with the World Health Organization and governments.
Iata is emphasising the need for passengers to comply with the recommendation following recent reports of travellers refusing to wear a face covering.
While this is confined to a very small number of individuals, some on-board incidents have become violent, resulting in costly and extremely inconvenient diversions to offload these passengers, the organisation said.
"This is a call for common sense and taking responsibility. The vast majority of travellers understand the importance of face covering both for themselves as well as for their fellow passengers, and airlines appreciate this collective effort," said Alexandre de Juniac, Iata’s director general and chief executive.
"But a small minority create problems. Safety is at the core of aviation, and compliance with crew safety instructions is the law. Failure to comply can jeopardise a flight’s safety, disrupt the travel experience of other passengers and impact the work environment for crew."