Air New Zealand said Monday (22 February) that it will begin trials of the digital “Travel Pass” developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its near shutdown of global aviation. The airline will trial the digital Travel Pass app on its Auckland-Sydney route in April. The trial will run for three weeks once the app hits app/android store shelves in April and both aircrew and customers will be invited to join the trial. The airline is in conversation with government agencies about options for validation of testing and vaccination. The IATA solution is one of several that are being rolled out around the world to help ‘restart’ the industry.
Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Jennifer Sepull says the goal is to enable customers to seamlessly manage their digital travel documentation throughout their travel experience. “Once borders reopen, travel is going to look very different, with customers’ health data needing to be verified at check-in. It’s essentially like having a digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines. This will give customers peace of mind that they meet all travel requirements for the different countries around the world before they even get to the airport. Reassuring customers that travel is in fact safe is one of our priorities. By using the app, customers can have confidence that everyone onboard meets the same government health requirements they do. By having a place to store all your health credentials digitally in one place, it will not only speed up the check-in process but unlock the potential for contactless travel.”
Customer privacy is at the heart of the design. There is no central database storing personal information, rather it is shared at the travellers’ discretion, in a safe and secure way.
IATA Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security Nick Careen says Air New Zealand’s trial of IATA Travel Pass is an important milestone towards restarting international travel. “Air New Zealand is demonstrating its industry leadership being among the first airlines in the world to offer its passengers a digital travel pass. Air New Zealand’s trial of IATA Travel Pass will help give governments the confidence to re-open borders and passengers the confidence to travel. The app has been developed with the highest levels of data privacy and security, so passengers always remain in control of their COVID-19 health information. And governments can be confident that passengers who are ‘Ok to Travel’ are in full compliance of COVID-19 travel requirements.”