MIAMI – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) today announced partnerships with Etihad Airways (EY) and Emirates (EK) to launch the IATA Travel Pass for guests of two airlines.
The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that helps passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines.
Etihad will initially offer IATA Travel Pass to guests on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021. If successful, the pass will be extended to other destinations on the Etihad network.
The IATA Travel Pass will enable Etihad’s guests to create a ‘digital passport’ to receive COVID test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey. Importantly, IATA Travel Pass will keep passengers in control of their data and facilitate the sharing of their test with airlines and authorities for travel. It will also make it convenient for passengers to manage travel documentation throughout their journey.
“COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be key to get the world flying again,” said Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group. “Since August 1, 2020, Etihad has been the only airline requiring a pre-departure negative PCR test result for all passengers worldwide, and again on arrival in Abu Dhabi, giving our guests the added assurance of safety when they travel with us.
“A high priority for Etihad is for our guests to have an easy, secure, and efficient way to identify and verify their information. Being one of the first airlines globally working with IATA as a pioneer partner on the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward for Etihad’s guests and for the industry,” Al Bulooki concluded.
Prior to a full roll out, Emirates will implement phase 1 in Dubai for the validation of COVID-19 PCR tests before departure. In this initial phase, expected to begin in April, Emirates customers traveling from Dubai will be able to share their COVID-19 test status directly with the airline even before reaching the airport through the app, which will then auto-populate the details on the check-in system.
Adel Al Redha, Emirates’ chief operating officer said, “While international travel remains as safe as ever, there are new protocols and travel requirements with the current global pandemic. We have worked with IATA on this innovative solution to simplify and digitally transmit the information that is required by countries and governments into our airline systems, in a secure and efficient manner. We are proud to be one of the first airlines in the world to pilot this initiative, which will provide an enhanced customer experience and conveniently facilitate our customers’ travel needs.”
Within the IATA Travel Pass app, the integrated registry of travel requirements will also enable passengers to find accurate information on travel and entry requirements for all destinations regardless of where they are traveling from. It will also include a registry of testing and eventually vaccination centers – making it more convenient for passengers to find testing centers and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.
The platform will also enable authorized labs and test centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. The global registry, managed by IATA, will manage and allow the secure flow of necessary information amongst all stakeholders and to provide a seamless passenger experience.
Featured image: IATA Travel Pass passport control. photo: IATA