IATA said airlines need help from partners such as airports and engine makers in achieving their goals, and aircraft makers in particular need to embrace radical change, especially as the industry expects to continue losing money in the coming year.
Federation President Willie Walsh said on the sidelines of the annual meeting that the industry will need help to meet the estimated $2 trillion cost of decarbonization.
"For the aviation industry, net zero carbon emissions are a bold but necessary commitment," he added in the comments, reported by Bloomberg.
Airlines are under pressure to make rapid progress toward cutting emissions even though advanced technology such as hydrogen-powered aircraft is still a long way off.
However, some air carriers have committed to moving more quickly, but the alternatives are limited, as so-called sustainable aviation fuels are expensive and still scarce.