Panama is the first government to participate in a trial of IATA Travel Pass, a mobile app created by the International Air Transport Association to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for coronavirus (Covid-19) testing or vaccine information.
IATA’s partnership with Panama sees Copa Airlines, the country’s flag carrier, being the first airline in the Americas to trial the IATA Travel Pass.
Using IATA Travel Pass, Copa Airlines passengers will be able to create a ‘digital passport’, allowing them to match their travel itineraries with the Covid-19 health requirements of their destination and validate that they are in compliance with these.
“The IATA Travel Pass is gaining momentum. This trial, the first in the Americas, will provide valuable input and feedback to improve the Travel Pass program,” said Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.
The initial trial phase is expected to begin in March on select flights from Copa’s hub of the Americas in Panama City.
“This is an important step in enabling international travel during the pandemic, giving people the confidence that they are meeting all Covid-19 entry requirements by governments,” Careen added.
In addition to checking travel requirements, IATA Travel Pass will also include a registry of testing and eventually vaccination centers – making it more convenient for passengers to find testing centers 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 centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. This 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 essential to re-establishing global connectivity while managing the risks of Covid-19.