What does airport of departure and airport of destination mean on an air waybill?

All transport documents, which are used in foreign trade transactions, should state a starting and an ending point of the carriage.

Otherwise the responsibility of the carrier cannot be defined under the contract of carriage.

If you make a sea shipment, you will get a bill of lading from the transport company, who is either the agent of the carrier or a freight forwarder. 

The bill of lading should show port of loading and port of discharge as starting and ending point of the carriage.
Similar to bill of lading, air waybill states airport of departure and airport of destination as starting and ending point of the carriage.

Today I would like to explain definitions of airport of departure and airport of destination as stated on the air waybill transport document.

What is airport of departure?

Airport of departure is the starting point of an air shipment. Airport of departure can be shown on the air waybill in two different ways:

Full description of the airport of departure such as Narita Airport, Tokyo, Heathrow Airport, London etc.
IATA three-letter code of the airport of departure such as HFA for Haifa International Airport, BAH for Bahrain International Airport, BCN for Barcelona International Airport etc.

What is airport of destination?

Airport of destination is the final point of an air shipment. Airport of destination can be shown on the air waybill in two different ways:

Full description of the airport of destination such as Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore, Incheon International Airport, Incheon etc.
IATA three-letter code of the airport of departure such as MUC for Munich Airport, HKG for Hong Kong Airport, AMS for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol etc.

Where to find airport of departure and airport of destination on an air waybill?

Airport of departure can be seen on two occasions on an IATA format air waybill.
First appearance of airport of departure is on the upper left side of the air waybill as indicated with number one on the below figure.
Second appearance of airport of departure is on the middle left side of the air waybill as indicated with number two on the below figure.
Airport of destination can be seen in one spot on an IATA format air waybill.
  • Solo appearance of airport of destination is on the middle left side of the air waybill as indicated with number three on the above figure.
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