Air New Zealand has announced plans to trial the IATA Travel Pass digital health passport on flights between Auckland and Sydney from April.
Carrier says it will be “among the first” to use the technology – Qatar Airways also plans to start testing the app on its Doha-Istanbul route in March.with fellow Gulf carriers Emirates and Etihad also announcing a lawsuit for the coming months.
ANZ said the trial will initially last three weeks, with crew and customers invited to join.
Users will be able to create a “digital health wallet” linked to their ePassport, and once they have been tested and/or vaccinated, lab results will be sent securely to the individual’s app.
The app then checks the data against travel requirements and gives a “green tick to travel” to eligible customers. ANZ said it was in conversation with government agencies “about testing and vaccination validation options”.
The news follows the resumption of quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia.
Earlier this month the Australian government suspended its travel bubble with New Zealandfollowing three community cases of Covid-19 in Auckland.
Local media quote Australian Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly as stating that travelers from New Zealand posed a “low risk” of bringing Covid-19 into the country.
Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president of airport, passengers, cargo and security, said Air New Zealand was showing “industry leadership” by being among the top airlines in the world to offer a digital travel pass, while ANZ Chief Digital Officer Jennifer Sepull commented:
“Once the borders reopen, travel will look very different, with customers’ health data having to be verified upon check-in.”
“It’s basically like having a digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines. This will give customers the peace of mind that they meet all the travel requirements for the different countries of the world even before arriving at the airport.
“Reassuring customers that traveling is in fact safe is one of our priorities. By using the app, customers can be sure that everyone on board meets the same government health requirements as them.
“Having a place to store all of your health information digitally in one place will not only speed up the check-in process, but unlock the potential of contactless travel.”
For an overview of the pros and cons of “Vaccine Passports” and the various options under development, check out our latest features: