Sunday, May 16, 2021

Etihad to trial IATA’s digital ‘health passport’ on flights from Abu Dhabi

Etihad Airways will become the first airline to trial the IATA Travel Pass app, which ratifies the travel health credentials of passengers, on flights from Abu Dhabi to Chicago, New York, Washington and Toronto.

The trial will run from now and May 31, with both Etihad and IATA hoping that it will simplify the travel process and end the current congestion at airports caused by the need to ensure that passengers have been vaccinated and are free from COVID-19.

The Etihad Group’s chief operating officer, Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group, said: “With the dynamically changing health requirements for travel, Etihad believes that a digital health passport solution will provide additional clarity and ease for travellers.

“Etihad has partnered with IATA so that together, a globally unified approach to a travel pass can be simplified to make travel easier once governments decide what regulations are required to cross borders in either direction.”

To participate in the trial, passengers simply download the IATA Travel Pass app from the Apple App Store and book an appointment with Life Diagnostics at Sultan Bin Zayed the First Street or BioGenix Labs at Masdar City.

At the clinic, guests inform reception they are participating in the IATA Travel Pass trial and should be ready to show their passport and mobile device with the IATA Travel Pass app downloaded.

Once the test result is ready, travellers will be able to view it on both the IATA Travel Pass app and through the testing clinic’s own digital platform.

“Etihad Airways’ trial of IATA Travel Pass will help build confidence among governments and travellers that digital health apps can safely, securely and conveniently help restart aviation,” predicted Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security.

“The app gives travellers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel, and for governments complete assurance in the identity of the passenger and the authenticity of the travel credentials being presented.”

The IATA Travel Pass will enable Etihad’s guests to create a ‘digital passport’ to receive Covid test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey.

Importantly, says IATA, its travel pass will keep passengers in control of their data and facilitate the sharing of their test results with airlines and authorities for travel.

It is also expected to make it more convenient for passengers to manage travel documentation throughout their journey.

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