IATA To Test Digital Travel Pass
Global aviation body International Air Transport Association (IATA) will begin testing a mobile application to help travellers to store and manage certifications for COVID-19 tests or vaccines next month.
IATA will begin testing the digital travel pass with Air Serbia.
IATA said that its travel pass will help to facilitate travel by putting COVID-19 test results and vaccine certificates in one digital format, speeding up check-in processes.
This summer is make or break for many airlines struggling to survive after a year of minimal revenue owing to the pandemic. As restrictions ease, digital systems will be needed to accommodate rising passenger numbers.
Britain's Heathrow Airport has said that it is taking 20 minutes per passenger to check paper test results and passenger locator forms, something that is only possible when passenger numbers are so low.
Vaccinations give hope that more travel will be allowed, but IATA said that countries need to issue digital proof to allow travel to take off.
"It's really absolutely critical that we start issuing digital vaccine credentials," IATA head of airport, passenger and security products Alan Murray said.
The testing of the travel pass application developed by IATA, which represents 290 airlines from 117 countries, will start in April on Air Serbia flights between Belgrade and Zurich in Switzerland, it said in a statement.
"We are proud to be among the first [airlines] globally to test the digital [vaccination] passport," the statement said, quoting Air Serbia CEO Duncan Naysmith.
Passport Information Combined With Test And Vaccination Certificates
Last November IATA said that its app will combine passport information with test and vaccination certificates received from participating laboratories.