Saudi Arabia accepts IATA Travel Pass

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(PHOTO: IATA)

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said it welcomed the decision of the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to accept the IATA Travel Pass to confirm pre-departure COVID-19 test results for departing and arriving passengers starting 30 September. Eventually this acceptance will be expanded to vaccine certification. Travellers to and from the country will have the choice of using either the IATA Travel Pass or Tawakkalna, the country’s national health app, owned and developed by Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA).

IATA Travel Pass is a personal secure digital wallet solution that helps travellers understand travel requirements and present their verified travel health credentials (vaccine or test certificates) to meet COVID-19 entry restrictions. More than 80 airlines have announced trials of the IATA Travel Pass and the app is accepted for entry by a number of governments including Singapore and Panama. Travellers to Saudi Arabia intending to use the IATA Travel Pass should check with the airline they are travelling with for eligibility to use the IATA Travel Pass.

IATA and Saudi Arabia are working to restore international travel. Saudi Arabian Airlines has been a trial partner in the development of the IATA Travel Pass. And work is progressing with GACA and Tawakkalna for IATA Travel Pass to be a vehicle for pre-arrival clearance. The IATA Travel Pass will simplify and enhance compliance with health requirements for travellers entering the country and contribute to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, which is an important contributor to the country economy.

“Our collaboration with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, GACA, Tawakkalna and Saudi Arabian Airlines demonstrates a shared commitment to restore international air travel safely. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s acceptance of IATA Travel Pass will demonstrate how digital solutions can effectively manage both COVID-19 vaccine and test certificates. The trust that the KSA has placed in IATA Travel Pass is an example for other governments to follow,” said Willie Walsh, IATA’s director general.

“GACA is committed to supporting all stakeholders to ease and facilitate air travel in an efficient and effective way by adopting best international practices while taking full consideration of ICAO’s CART guidance by our wider country’s authorities in the decision-making processes on national recovery planning. We are committed to drive the adoption of digital health certificates and restore international air travel. GACA and SDAIA have facilitated to work alongside IATA and Tawakkalna, in building a robust framework to help facilitate the journey of citizens, visitors and guests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Further, GACA appreciates the efforts of all stakeholders in the integration with IATA Travel Pass including Timatic, health travel requirements,  and Saudi’s digital platform “Health Pass” by Tawakkalna, which will help to create a common vision for the future of air travel and technologies,” said H.E Abdulaziz Al Duailej, GACA’s director general.

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