LONDON – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is partnering with the government of the Republic of Panama and Copa Airlines (CM) to trial IATA Travel Pass.

IATA’s Travel Pass comes in the form of a mobile app that helps passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccine information.

Photo: Kochan Kleps/Airways

New Travel Pass Partners

Panama is the first government to participate in a trial of IATA Travel Pass which will be essential to re-establishing global connectivity while managing the risks of COVID-19. Copa Airlines (CM) will be the first carrier in the Americas to trial the IATA Travel Pass. Using IATA Travel Pass, CM passengers will be able to create a ‘digital passport’.

This will allow passengers to match their travel itineraries with the COVID-19 health requirements of their destination and validate that they are in compliance with these. The initial trial phase is expected to begin in March on select flights from CM’s Hub of the Americas in Panama City.

Photo: Kochan Kleps/Airways

Statement from Copa Airlines

Dan Gunn, CM’s Senior Vice President for Operations, said, “At CM we are proud to be pioneers in the implementation of IATA Travel Pass, working together with IATA and the government of Panama. The IATA Travel Pass will simplify and enhance compliance with health requirements for our passengers.”

“An international standard solution for digital health passports such as IATA Travel Pass holds the key to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, which is an important contributor to Panama’s and Latin America’s economy.”

Photo: Kochan Kleps/Airways

Statement from Panama Tourism Authority

Ivan Eskildsen, Administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority, said that the Government of Panama supports the implementation of this important tool developed by IATA that, through its integration with different stakeholders, will allow passengers to comply with our health requirements.

The administrator said the pass will thus help to restore confidence in travel and tourism, important “pillars for the country’s economic recovery.”

Photo: Misael Ocasio Hernandez/Airways

Statement from IATA

On his part, Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, said, “The IATA Travel Pass is gaining momentum. This trial, the first in the Americas, will provide valuable input and feedback to improve the Travel Pass program.”

“This is an important step in enabling international travel during the pandemic, giving people the confidence that they are meeting all COVID-19 entry requirements by governments. We are proud to be working with CM and the government of Panama on this vital trial.”

Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas, said that aviation is the backbone of many economies across the Americas. The VP assures that the IATA Travel Pass will help give governments confidence that passengers have complied with health requirements enabling aviation to reconnect the region’s economies with each other and to the world.

Cerdá added that the company’ extensive network in the region and Panama’s strategic geographic position makes them an ideal candidate to trial the IATA Travel Pass.

The IATA Travel pass trials are already being rolled out by Etihad Airways (EY), Emirates (EK) and Qatar Airways (QR).

Featured image: Travel Pass app. Photo: IATA