Aviation industry launches Covid-19 'travel pass' to restart international flights

Aviation industry launches Covid-19 'travel pass' to restart international flights
© Brussels Airlines

The aviation industry is launching its own "Travel Pass" app which will allow travellers to quickly prove that they have been vaccinated or have a negative Covid-19 test before getting on a plane.

In this way, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) is hoping to relaunch international travel soon, as the app should be available early next year.

The pass will show information on current travel conditions, such as compulsory tests or vaccinations, to passengers, but will also make it possible to see whether passengers meet these requirements quickly.

“Our main priority is to get people travelling again safely," said Nick Careen, IATA's Senior Vice President in a press release. "In the immediate term, that means giving governments confidence that systematic Covid-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine programme."

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The goal is to enable authorities, laboratories, airlines and passengers to provide information which will then be linked into that app. IATA plans to use software that it has already developed to see whether passengers have the right visas.

According to IATA, the app does not store data and uses blockchain technology. iPhone users are expected to be able to start using the app in the first quarter of next year. Travellers with an Android phone will have to wait until the second quarter.

“Today, borders are double locked. Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures," said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO.

"The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveller identities in compliance with border control requirements. That’s the job of IATA's Travel Pass," he added.

In the coming weeks, IATA will test the "Travel Pass" together with airline group IAG, the parent company of British Airways, Iberia, Vueling and Aer Lingus.

Maïthé Chini

The Brussels Times

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