The International Air Transport Association and Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, and Emirates on Tuesday announced a partnership to launch the IATA Travel Pass for Etihad Airways’ guests.
Etihad Passengers Get ‘Digital Passport’
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.
IATA Travel Pass will initially be offered to Etihad’s 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.
The IATA Travel 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, 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,” Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group said.
Mr. Bulooki added that a high priority for the airline is for its 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 our guests and for the industry,” he said.
Etihad Exploring use of Digital Health Certificate
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 a 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 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.
The 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 tests 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.
Emirates said it will implement Phase 1 of the pass in April to validate COVID-19 tests for flights departing from Dubai.