A trade body, IATA represents 240 airlines and 84 per cent of total air traffic.
The brief, understood to be global in focus and worth six figures, comes ahead of the anniversary of the first commercial flight, in Florida, in 1914.
A well-placed source said: "The focus is on celebrating the value of air travel to the world as we mark these 100 years. This is also in the context of emphasising the benefits it brings amid reputational challenges such as concern over emissions."
A spokesman for IATA said it would comment when the process, which is understood to be midway through, was completed.
At a recent conference, IATA CEO Tony Tyler pointed to the upcoming centenary, highlighting to the role of the industry in creating 57 million jobs.
However, he warned that the industry had "struggled to generate a satisfactory return to shareholders over the long term".
Tyler added that there was a need to "attract the capital sufficient to grow sustainably" if the industry was to provide "acceptable returns to our shareholders".