Covid-19: IATA develops app for air travel

TE Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on January 21, 2021

Aeroplanes parked at the Chennai airport during the lockdown   -  PTI

‘IATA Travel Pass’ will create a ‘digital passport’ to verify passengers’ pre-travel test details

While passengers are still scared to travel by air due to the fear of getting infected by Coronavirus, a mobile app – IATA Travel Pass – developed by the International Air Transport Association will help them easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for Covid-19 tests or vaccines. IATA is a trade association of the world’s airlines.

The app will enable airlines to create a ‘digital passport’ to verify passengers’ pre-travel test or vaccination information; share the test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines and manage all travel documentation digitally and seamlessly throughout the travel experience.

Establishing confidence

The Travel Pass is built in modules as an industry solution based on open-source standards. It can be used in combination with other providers or as an end-to-end solution. The most important thing is that it is responsive to industry needs while enabling a competitive market, said IATA.

New partners

Two Gulf-based airlines – Emirates and Etihad – are the first to partner with IATA globally on the use of Travel pass, which 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 tests results along their journey via their mobile device.

These modules can work together as one complete end-to-end solution. 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, says a statement.

‘Re-open borders’

Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security said, “Our aim is to give all governments the confidence to re-open borders to travellers based on verified vaccine and testing data. As borders re-open, Travel Pass will be further enhanced with more capabilities to meet all governments testing or vaccination verification requirements.”

Emirates will implement the first phase in Dubai in April for the validation of Covid-19 PCR tests before departure.

It’s 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.

Etihad said that the Travel Pass will initially be offered to its 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.

Published on January 21, 2021

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