Digital health passports showing COVID-19 vaccination status or testing status are gaining more support from aviation organisations. The latest to announce their support for the Travel Pass developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) include Collins Aerospace and Qantas in Australia. Etihad Airways announced on 29 July that it too was expanding the use of the IATA Travel Pass.
Collins Aerospace announced on 28 July it would support the Travel Pass digital health platform that enables passengers to store, share and manage verified test results and information that may be needed for travel to other countries. Collins Aerospace will help integrate IATA’s Travel Pass platform into airlines’ passenger management systems using the company’s TransAction solution, which allows passenger data to be safely and securely exchanged between airlines and the IATA Travel Pass mobile app. TransAction is already in use by airlines around the world to share passenger travel information.
“More than half of the world’s borders have some kind of travel restriction in place, but we see the deployment of vaccinations and enhanced testing measures as positive steps toward restoring passenger confidence in airline travel,” said LeAnn Ridgeway, vice president and general manager of Information Management Services and head of Collins Aerospace’s Redefining Air Travel task force. “With the use of Collins Aerospace’s technology, Travel Pass will verify the secure flow of necessary information to give governments the confidence to reopen their borders.”
More than 60 airlines have already signed up to use IATA’s Travel Pass system, which is already live. For a list of participating airlines announced publicly and instructions on using the Travel Pass mobile applications, go here.
Qantas joins Travel Pass
The Qantas Group confirmed on 29 July that it will work with IATA to rollout a digital health pass when regular Qantas and Jetstar international flights resume. The decision to proceed with IATA follows trials of several digital solutions on Qantas’ international repatriation flights in recent months. The announcement follows the Australian government’s release of its four-phase national COVID-19 response plan earlier this month, which includes validating the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas. Many countries where Qantas and Jetstar operate to, including the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, have announced requirements of either a proof of vaccine or negative COVID test result to enter without quarantine.
Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully said, “We want to get our international flights back in the air and our people back to work and a digital health pass will be a key part of that. Many governments are already requiring proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test result for international travel. Even if it wasn’t a government requirement, Qantas has always been a leader in safety and we have a responsibility to our customers and crew. A digital health pass will connect customers with COVID testing facilities, health authorities and airlines, and ultimately enable the opening of more travel bubbles and borders. The IATA Travel Pass will allow travellers to have their COVID test results and vaccine information verified securely, which will be their green light to fly internationally with us. We’re working closely with IATA to develop their Travel Pass to make the process as seamless as possible for Qantas and Jetstar customers as international borders start to re-open.”
IATA Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security Nick Careen said, “A digital solution to manage and verify health credentials is essential for travel while COVID-19 remains a risk. We are delighted that the Qantas Group has decided to progress plans to use IATA Travel Pass as a convenient and secure method for travellers to verify and share their COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff. IATA Travel Pass delivers an advantage over other solutions in that the app enables travellers to create a digital ID derived from a government issued document such as a passport. This means that airlines and governments can have full confidence in the test/vaccine results both from a content and identity perspective. Being able to validate the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas is critical to enable Australia’s four-phase national COVID response plan announced earlier this month.”