Effective February 15, 2021, Etihad Airways will recommence passenger flights from Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, to Doha, Qatar, subject to the applicable government approvals. The service will operate daily using an Airbus A320 and a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner.
Etihad Connects Two Capitals
Martin Drew, Senior Vice President Global Sales and Cargo, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “With ties between the UAE and Qatar restored, the restarting of passenger services between the two capitals will once again support the growth of trade and tourism between the two nations.”
Mr. Drew explained that adding a new destination to Etihad’s network during the COVID-19 pandemic is another step towards the gradual expansion of normal scheduled services to more cities across the airline’s global network.
To give guests peace of mind and to offer an extra level of reassurance to travel, Etihad is the only airline in the world requiring 100% of its passengers to show a negative PCR test before departure, and on arrival in Abu Dhabi.
As the network continues to be built back up, Etihad ensures a secure and hygienic flying environment across the entire guest journey. Over the last few months, the airline has seized every opportunity to improve processes, including the introduction of free PCR testing for guests departing the UAE and free COVID-19 insurance for all passengers globally.
Earlier this week, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, announced a partnership to launch the IATA Travel Pass for guests of Etihad Airways.
The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines.
The pass will initially be offered to Etihad’s guests on select flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021. If successful, the pass will be extended to other destinations on the Etihad network.
The pass will enable Etihad’s guests to create a ‘digital passport’ to receive COVID test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey.
Importantly, the IATA Travel Pass will keep passengers in control of their data and facilitate the sharing of their test with airlines and authorities for travel. It will also make it convenient for passengers to manage travel documentation throughout their journey.
“COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be key to get the world flying again. Since August 1, 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 Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.
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, the airline is actively campaigning for collaboration and a united regulatory response to restore confidence in flying.
“The 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 verified vaccine and testing data. The initial stage of the 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.