Τhe International Air Transport Association this week said it will soon launch the IATA Travel Pass to help travelers and governments manage digital health credentials.
The IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app created by the association aimed to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for coronavirus (Covid-19) testing or vaccine information.
Speaking during a media briefing this week, IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac stressed that global standards to securely record test and vaccination data in formats that will be internationally recognized are urgently needed.
“These will be critical to restarting international travel if governments continue to require verified testing or vaccination data,” said de Juniac, adding that the association was getting ready to launch the IATA Travel Pass.
“But the full benefit of IATA Travel Pass cannot be realized until governments agree the standards for the information they want,” he said, underlining that common standards are needed to document both tests and vaccines.
“Temporarily, while volumes are low, we can accommodate digital certificates issued by governments that want an early start. But long-term a global standard will give passengers and governments the greatest confidence and deliver the greatest efficiency,” said de Juniac.
He also clarified that the IATA Travel Pass is not a vaccine passport.
“Initially it will hold test data which governments are already requiring. And it can accommodate vaccine data, should governments require it,” he said.
Moreover, IATA’s CEO said that the industry is not asking for vaccination to be a requirement. “It is governments, not airlines, that will decide what travelers need to enter their country. There are significant populations who cannot or will not be vaccinated. As a practicality, we are preparing for governments to use a combination of testing and vaccination to re-open borders,” said de Juniac.
A number of airlines have already began to trial the IATA Travel Pass such as Emirates, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Qantas, Air New Zealand, Copa Airlines, airBaltic and Gulf Air.