The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Etihad Airways have partnered up to launch the IATA Travel Pass for Etihad Airways’ guests.
The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that will help travellers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. To begin with, it will be offered to Etihad’s guests on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021. If deemed a success, the pass will be extended to other destinations on the airline’s network.
This new initiative will enable the airline’s customers to create a ‘digital passport’ to receive COVID test results and verify that they are eligible to undertake their journey. The IATA Travel Pass will keep passengers in control of their data and will facilitate the sharing of their tests with airlines and authorities for travel. It will also make it convenient for passengers to manage their travel documentation throughout their journey.
Chief operating officer, Etihad Aviation Group, Mohammad Al Bulooki said: “COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be key to get the world flying again. Since August 1, 2020, Etihad [has been] 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.”
The Abu Dhabi-based carrier has been exploring the roll out of digital health certification for its guests, and this latest partnership with IATA, alongside similar programmes currently in their development phase, highlights that technology is advancing quickly to make it a reality.
Senior vice president – airport, passenger, cargo and security, IATA, Nick Careen declared: “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.”
The IATA Travel Pass has been developed as four independent modules, covering registries for regulatory entry requirements and labs/test centres, 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.