John  Middleton  picture John Middleton

Assistant Director, Legal Services

International Air Transport Association (IATA)


John is an Assistant Director, Legal Services for the International Air Transport Association (IATA), based in Geneva, Switzerland. He is the global lead counsel for the Passenger Agency Program, which manages the IATA Billing and Settlement Plans. The IATA BSP are the backbone of the global aviation distribution system, handling over $200 billion per year in transactions between IATA Accredited Travel Agents and the airlines participating in the systems. John advises the Agency Administrator in his management of this program, as well as the Passenger Agency Conference and the other governance forums which establish the Resolutions governing the program. He also participates in the leadership team for the operational group within IATA which runs the BSP.

In addition, John serves as IATA’s bankruptcy specialist, leading the legal response and support for all airline bankruptcy and suspension cases worldwide, managing the claims process for IATA in multiple jurisdictions, and protecting IATA’s interests in bankruptcy and suspension cases globally. He is also currently leading the legal response to the risk posed to IATA’s settlement systems by the COVID-19 crisis and related groundings, working to secure security deposits or other financial guarantees from over 300 airlines globally.

He also served as Regional Counsel for IATA’s European and AME regions and has been responsible for legal support for the IATA Worldwide Airport Slots team.

Prior to joining IATA, John was an associate with the bankruptcy and restructuring group at Haynes and Boone, LLP in Dallas, Texas. While with Haynes and Boone, he was involved in multiple cross-border transactions and bankruptcy cases – focusing on bankruptcy litigation – and served as external global bankruptcy counsel for IATA. John was also named a Super Lawyers Texas Rising Star in 2013 while with Haynes and Boone and served as President of the DFW Association of Young Bankruptcy Lawyers.

John has spoken and written on a variety of bankruptcy and aviation topics, including presentations on the pandemic, airline bankruptcies, and IATA’s role in airline risk management in Brussels, Bangkok, London, and Paris, and on competition law and slots coordination in Brasília, Lisbon, Washington D.C., Vancouver, and New York.

He is a graduate of Baylor University in Texas, where he earned both his J.D. and B.A., each magna cum laude.