The International Air Transport Association (IATA) last night (March 17) announced the successful trial of its Travel Pass app for managing passengers’ health credentials on an actual flight.
The first first traveler using the IATA travel pass flew via Singapore Airlines’ and arrived at London’s Heathrow Airport.
“The significance of this to re-starting international aviation cannot be overstated,” Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO underscored.
“The successful implementation of IATA Travel Pass in this trial with Singapore Airlines passengers demonstrates that technology can help travelers and governments to manage travel health credentials,” he elaborated.
“Digital health credentials will be essential as borders reopen and travel restrictions get progressively lifted worldwide,” acquiesced JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President, Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines.
“The successful implementation of the IATA Travel Pass reflects Singapore Airlines’ goal of using secure digital solutions to verify health credentials, and support a safe and seamless travel experience for our customers,” she added.
Passengers on Singapore Airlines flights from Singapore to London during the trial used the IATA Travel Pass to create secure digital version of their passports on their mobile device, input their flight details to learn of travel restrictions and requirements as well as receive verified test results and a confirmation that they meet all travel requirements.
“Today’s success is a big win for many parties. It gives travelers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel,” according to de Juniac.
It shows that governments can efficiently manage these travel requirements with complete confidence in the identity of the passenger and the veracity of the travel credentials, avoiding long queues, he went on
“And it’s a purpose-built means for airlines to manage the new travel requirements without drowning in inefficient and ineffective paper processes.”
To gain maximum benefit from IATA Travel Pass and avoid confusion and inconvenience for passengers, the standardization of test or vaccination certifications, and their acceptance by authorities is key.
A recent IATA poll of travelers found that 89% agree with the need for global standards and 80% are keen to use a mobile app to manage their travel credentials.
Last Friday, ICAO moved the establishment of global standards for testing/vaccination certifications a step closer to reality.
Next governments need to provide a digital COVID-19 test/vaccination certificate when people are tested or vaccinated so they have a verifiable document on their mobile device.
This will ensure equivalence, mutual recognition, and acceptance of COVID-19 certifications for passengers when they travel around the world.