The International Air Transport Association has entered a partnership with Etihad Airways and Emirates Airlines to become 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 COVID-19 testing or vaccine information.
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, while IATA Travel Pass enables Emirates passengers to create a ‘digital passport’ to verify 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.
“COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be key to get the world flying again. Since 1 August 2020, Etihad is the only airline requiring a pre-departure negative PCR test result for all passengers worldwide, and again on arrival in Abu Dhabi, giving our guests the added assurance of safety when they travel with us. 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 Mr. Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.
Mr. Adel Al Redha Emirates’ Chief Operating Officer of Emirates said: “While international travel remains as safe as ever, there are new protocols and travel requirements with the current global pandemic. We have worked with IATA on this innovative solution to simplify and digitally transmit the information that is required by countries and governments into our airline systems, in a secure and efficient manner. 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.”
“The partnership with Etihad Airways and Emirates to launch the IATA Travel Pass is an important milestone on the road to meaningfully restarting international travel. Our aim is to give all governments the confidence to re-open borders to travellers based on the verified vaccine and testing data. The initial stage of the Etihad launch will focus on all four elements of the IATA Travel Pass modules, one of the first airlines in the world to do so,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo, and Security.
Etihad has been actively exploring the roll-out of digital health certification for its guests, and this latest partnership with IATA, alongside similar programmes the airline has in development, shows the technology is advancing quickly to make it a reality. To standardise the way in which passenger wellness can be assured during the COVID-19 pandemic, at an industry level, Etihad is actively campaigning for collaboration and united regulatory response to restore confidence in flying.
“The Etihad Airways partnership to launch the IATA Travel Pass is an important milestone on the road to meaningfully restarting international travel. Our aim is to give all governments the confidence to re-open borders to travellers based on the verified vaccine and testing data. The initial stage of the Etihad launch will focus on all four elements of the IATA Travel Pass modules, one of the first airlines in the world to do so,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo, and Security.
IATA Travel Pass has been developed as four independent modules that can interact with each other. These modules cover registries for regulatory entry requirements and labs/test centers, verified certificate issuance, digital identity, and the possibility for passengers to share their test results along their journey via their mobile device. These modules can work together as one complete end-to-end solution. Or they can be used separately to complement systems that others are building. IATA has developed these modules to ensure they are interoperable with other industry solutions.
The platform will also enable authorized labs and test centers 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.