The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced partnerships with Emirates and Etihad Airways which will make them among the first airlines in the world to trial IATA Travel Pass – a mobile app to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with any government requirements for coronavirus (Covid-19) testing or vaccine information.
“This is the first step in making international travel during the pandemic as convenient as possible,” Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, said.
IATA Travel Pass will enable the passengers of the two airlines to create a ‘digital passport’ to verify that their pre-travel test or vaccination meets the requirements of the destination. They will also be able to share the test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines to facilitate travel. The new app will also enable travellers to manage all travel documentation digitally and seamlessly throughout the travel experience.
Emirates trials Travel Pass on flights from Dubai
Prior to a full roll out, Emirates will implement phase 1 in Dubai for the validation of Covid-19 PCR tests before departure. In this initial phase, expected to begin in April, Emirates customers travelling from Dubai will be able to share their Covid-19 test status directly with the airline even before reaching the airport through the app, which will then auto-populate the details on the check-in system.
“We are proud to be one of the first airlines in the world to pilot this initiative, which will provide an enhanced customer experience and conveniently facilitate our customers’ travel needs,” Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer said.
Etihad to try Travel Pass on Abu Dhabi flights
IATA Travel Pass will initially be offered to Etihad Airways guests on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021. If successful, the pass will be extended to other destinations on the Etihad network.
“A high priority for Etihad is for our guests to have an easy, secure and efficient way to identify and verify their information. Being one of the first airlines globally working with IATA as a pioneer partner on the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward for Etihad’s guests and for the industry,” said Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.
More on the IATA Travel Pass
Within the IATA Travel Pass app, the integrated registry of travel requirements will also enable passengers to find accurate information on travel and entry requirements for all destinations regardless of where they are travelling from. It will also include a registry of testing and eventually vaccination centres – making it more convenient for passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.
The platform will also enable authorized labs and test centres to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. The global registry, managed by IATA, will manage and allow the secure flow of necessary information amongst all stakeholders and to provide a seamless passenger experience.
According to IATA, the Travel Pass will be further enhanced with more capabilities to meet all governments testing or vaccination verification requirements.