On 30 August China Airlines will begin trialing the IATA Travel Pass (ITP) platform launched by the International Air Transport Association to provide digital health verification. ITP will initially be trialed on flights returning to Taiwan from 8 destinations (Los Angeles, Ontario, San Francisco, New York, Vancouver (Canada), Frankfurt (Germany), London (UK) and Singapore. This service will expedite the check-in process, reduce unnecessary human contact, and provide passengers with greater peace of mind during their flight.
China Airlines has partnered with IATA to trial ITP on flights to Taiwan from the US, Canada, Germany, UK and Singapore. Information about the ITP trial can be found in the “Novel Coronavirus Service Information” section of the China Airlines website. To participate, download the ITP app from the App Store or Google Play. First, complete the online registration process. Then, go to a designated hospital to take the PCR test. The hospital will update the IATA Travel Pass with an electronic copy of the PCR test report that passengers can present at check-in. Their health information can then be readily checked by China Airlines ground staff, minimising the amount of contact and expediting the entire check-in process.
Contact-free services will become a key trend for future of air travel. China Airlines partnered with the Affinidi digital health verification platform from April this year to trial digital health verification and simplify the check-in process on flights returning to Taiwan from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. The new partnership with IATA will expand digital verification services to destinations in Europe and North America. After this IATA trial run, the results will be assessed to see if the program can be expanded to cover more China Airlines flights. Concurrently, China Airlines is also actively seeking out other international digital verification platforms to do more testing, with the goal of further optimizing its own digital pandemic services. Negotiations are also under way with system operators to digitize health declarations and reduce physical contact points. To provide travelers with a safe and convenient travel experience, China Airlines is also working with the “Digital Proof of Vaccination Platform” that is under development in Taiwan to check travelers’ COVID-19 vaccination and PCR testing records.
China Airlines sees doubling of cold chain logistics business
Leveraging its CEIV Pharma certification and years of freight transport experience, China Airlines carried out multiple missions transporting vaccines purchased by Taiwan. China Airlines also successfully bid for vaccine trans-shipments and trans-shipped multiple COVID-19 shipments recently. Growing global demand for cargo services saw the cold chain logistics business double in size. The number of temperature-controlled containers transported by China Airlines between January and July this year grew by 220% year-on-year and the outlook continues to be positive.
As one of the leading cargo carriers in the world, China Airlines was also the first carrier in Taiwan to obtain CEIV Pharma certification for pharmaceutical cold chain logistics. Internationally recognised, China Airline’s cargo team was chosen to transport the Moderna and AstraZeneca vaccines from Luxembourg, Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Bangkok (Thailand), Memphis (USA) and other locations back to Taiwan. China Airlines extensive network was also used to transship vaccines purchased by other countries to their final destinations via Taiwan, with a number of vaccine shipments already trans-shipped to other Asian countries. China Airlines continues to play a central role in the international distribution of vaccines and the transportation of COVID-19 vaccines around the world.
According to International Air Transport Association (IATA) statistics, China Airlines has maintained its lead in international air cargo, with cargo volumes continuing to grow. In 2020, China Airlines climbed into the world’s top 5 carriers by air cargo volume, carrying 1.55 million tonnes of cargo, an increase of 12.8 percent compared to that of 2019. In terms of freight tonne-kilometre (FRTK), China Airlines carried 6,317 million freight tonne-kilometres in 2020, up 18.4 percent from the previous year. It was ranked 10th in the world and saw the most growth in cargo volume out of all the top 10 carriers. A fleet of 21 freighter aircraft including three newly introduced 777 freighters and 18 existing 747 freighters helped China Airlines strengthen its competitive edge in air cargo industry.
In the second half of the year, China Airlines will continue to focus on its cargo business. The 21 freighters along with the belly holds of passenger aircraft will be used to carry mail and packages. Particular emphasis will be placed on the demand for express freight, additional freighter services, and charter requirements. The European, North American and Australian markets will soon enter their traditional peak season. As Western countries begin easing their lockdown restrictions and introducing new economic stimulus plans, the demand-side is very favourable and the change from ground to sea freight is still gathering momentum. Price for air cargo should therefore remain high. Despite the serious challenges posed by the pandemic, the business outlook for the second half of the year continues to remain very positive.