After a year of turbulence due to loss of business over travel restrictions, the aviation sector in the UAE is taking a flight towards recovery, and won’t leave any stone unturned to ensure safety from infections. The Emirates and Etihad are gathering steam after being backed up by financial support from the regimes in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and are now using a digitised public service infrastructure to their advantage.
Emirates has been running trials for IATA’s digital passport and an apps that enable flyers to access hassle free testing, after which they can share results with airlines and authorities. Raising the bar for accuracy in verifying the health of passengers before they board a flight, the Dubai-based aviation brand has secured access to the Emirati city’s medical records.
Regular collection of data on residents enabled healthcare authorities in running a successful operation of contact tracing and monitoring patients, which helped UAE in reopening its skies for visitors. This database will now strengthen Emirates airline with updates about testing, infections and vaccination for every individual.
Labs approved by Dubai’s health authority will have to link their IT systems with the carrier, and information will be shared in via secure channels. The airline seeks to go ahead with live implementation in next few months, which comes as the carrier gears up to launch the first phase of IATA digital passport from April.
Emirates has also been working on additional measures to restore passenger confidence, and has become the world’s first airline to operate a flight with a fully vaccinated crew. Everyone from check-in to security and the staff in the lounge, along with engineers and pilots, was protected against infections.
Apart from the covid-proof flight, 44% of Emirates’ frontline staff has received both jabs of the vaccine, and thousands more will be getting theirs at clinics set up by the firm. Earlier this month, its fellow Emirati carrier Etihad also became the world’s first airline to achieve 100% vaccination of its cabin crew and pilots.