Korean Air to trial IATA’s Travel Pass

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Korean Air customers will be among the first in the world to have access to an IATA app that provides a secure system to manage their COVID-19 testing or vaccination information digitally.

Korean Air will test the digital travel pass developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to prepare the world for safe and convenient air travel in the post-COVID era. The trial is planned for the airline’s Incheon-Los Angeles KE011 flight in May after an internal test in April.

The IATA Travel Pass can show a passenger’s COVID-19 test results through a mobile phone application. The travel pass will be further developed to include proof of vaccination.

As COVID-19 vaccinations become widely available and travel demand recovers, COVID-19 vaccination and test results will be critical. However, it is difficult for governments to validate paper vaccination certifications or COVID-19 test results, and immigration procedures are expected to take longer. There is also the possibility of paper certificates being forged.

The IATA Travel Pass has been developed not only to solve such problems but also to encourage safe travel between countries by standardizing health verification through a credible platform. IATA has been working closely with governments to gain their support for the travel pass initiative.

“We believe the digital travel pass will improve the customer experience for passengers as they can share health information in a convenient and secure manner, and save processing time at the airports,” said Korean Air’s chief customer service officer, Seungbum Lee. “Korean Air will continue its efforts to provide a safe and seamless travel experience through initiatives such as the travel pass.”

“Partnering with Korean Air to trial IATA Travel Pass is an important milestone towards giving governments the confidence to restart the industry. Jointly we will help demonstrate that aviation has developed a solution to ensure that passengers are meeting travel requirements,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security.

Korean Air plans to trial the IATA Travel Pass in May on the airline’s Incheon-Los Angeles KE011 flight. As part of the goal to “Test & Fly,” passengers can take a COVID-19 antigen test at the Incheon Airport’s testing centre, and receive test results within an hour on the Travel Pass mobile app, which passengers need to install in advance.

Korean Air will cooperate with IATA to smoothly implement the IATA Travel Pass while continuing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through its safety and cleanliness program “CARE FIRST,” which includes frequent and thorough disinfection of aircraft, fever checks and minimal contact between passengers and employees.