Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 on final at Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO). Photo: Marco Macca - @aviator_ita

LONDON – Qatar Airways (QR) is set to become the first airline in the Middle East to begin trialing IATA’s new ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app in March.

The first phase of the trials of the new Travel Pass initiative will be rolled out on the airline’s Doha-Istanbul route, enabling passengers to receive COVID-19 test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey.

It will also allow travelers to safely and securely share their verified ‘OK to Travel’ status with the airline and other stakeholders prior to their arrival at the airport.

Additionally, IATA Travel Pass will provide up-to-date information on COVID-19 health regulations, helping travelers to ensure they meet the latest government entry requirements of their destination country.

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-1000. Photo: John Leivaditis – @athspotting

Statement from Qatar Airways

Mr. Akbar Al Baker, Qatar Airways Group CEO, said, “With the most rigorous and robust COVID-19 safety programme in existence within the global aviation community, we are focused on ensuring that QR will become the first airline in the Middle East to begin trialling the ground-breaking IATA Travel Pass technology.”

“We are committed to supporting the airline industry as a whole through IATA’s Industry Advisory Panel.”

“As an industry leader and the only 5-Star-rated global airline recently announced in the Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, we are commited to safeguarding the safety, health and wellbeing of our passengers, and ensuring an integrated, seamless customer experience at every point of their journey with us.”

Qatar Airways Airbus A350-900 taxiing via Hotel Malpensa Airport (MXP) Photo: Andrea Ongaro

Al Baker also said, “The IATA Travel Pass effectively acts as a ‘digital passport’ for travellers and is the latest tool in our fight against the spread of COVID-19.”

“Enable passengers to securely and effortlessly navigate their travel plans, safe in the knowledge that their verified travel credential is based on the latest COVID-19 information, the strictest data privacy regulations and entry rules for the destination they will travel to.”

Al Baker added that by investing in this technology they are able to further encourage passengers around the world to have greater confidence in the safety of air travel and begin making future travel plans over the coming months.

Photo: Luca Flores

Statement from IATA

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, said, “QR is showing its industry leadership. IATA Travel Pass will verify testing or vaccination credentials of travellers, which is the key to unlocking travel without quarantine measures.”

“The company digital passport trial will help us build confidence among governments and travellers that IATA Travel Pass can securely and conveniently link traveller identities with their digital travel credentials.”

“It will also help us prove that ICAO’s global standards for digital passports work. And it will highlight the need for governments to accelerate their work with industry to develop global standards for health certificates a critical enabler to safely re-connecting the world.”

Featured image: Qatar Airways Boeing 787-8 on final at Rome Fiumicino International Airport (FCO). Photo: Marco Macca – @aviator_ita