By Peter Kenny
GENEVA (AA) – The International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Wednesday that its digital pass will enable travelers to securely control their health data and share it with relevant authorities.
“Efficient digital management of health credentials is vital to restart. Manual processes will not be able to cope with volumes once the recovery begins,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s director general and CEO, at a virtual press conference.
The pass will verify if passengers have taken COVID-19 vaccines and tests needed to enter a country.
“Digital solutions must be secure, work with existing systems, align with global standards and respect data privacy. In developing the IATA Travel Pass, these are fully in focus,” he said.
The Travel Pass details come at a time when IATA said airline financial prospects are worsening as governments tighten travel restrictions.
"Burning a further $75 billion to $95 billion this year is not something that the industry will be able to withstand without additional government relief. And the expectation that the industry will not turn cash-positive until 2022 is yet another reminder of the severity of the crisis,” said de Juniac.
He said the past weeks had seen more airlines sign-up to trial the IATA Travel Pass regarding health credentials.
IATA said airlines that have signed up include Air New Zealand, Copa Airlines, Etihad Airways, Emirates, Qatar Airways, Malaysia Airlines, RwandAir, and Singapore Airlines.
IATA said that to re-open borders without quarantine and restart aviation, governments need to be confident that they are effectively lessening the risk of importing COVID-19.
A system is needed to inform passengers on what tests, vaccines, and other measures they require before traveling, details on where they can get tested, and giving them the ability to share their tests and vaccination results, it added.