Qatar Airways has joined with other Gulf carriers, Emirates and Etihad, in announcing its intention to try the IATA Travel Pass “Digital Passport” application.
The app allows passengers to receive Covid-19 test results and verify that they are eligible to undertake their trip through ‘OK to Travel’ status – for more on the initiative, see:
IAG is working with IATA on its new Travel Pass
Qatar Airways will begin testing the app on its Doha-Istanbul route in March, and says it will be the first airline in the Middle East to do so.
Etihad recently announced its intention to try the app on “selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021”, while Emirates to begin phase one of its deployment in April.
In addition to the test results, IATA intends the app to contain information about vaccinations as more travelers receive them, although the idea of vaccines or passports’ freedoms Could prove to be more controversial. For our article on the pros and cons of this, see:
Vaccine passports – arguments for and against
Alexandre de Juniac, Managing Director and CEO of IATA, said that the Qatar Airways trial “would help us build the confidence of governments and travelers that the IATA Travel Pass can securely and conveniently link travelers’ identities to their digital travel credentials “.
De Juniac added that this “would help us prove that ICAO’s global standards for digital passports work,” and “highlight the need for governments to accelerate their work with industry to develop global standards. for health certificates – an essential catalyst for safely reconnecting the world. “
Meanwhile, Qatar Airways Group Managing Director Akbar Al Baker said:
“With the most rigorous and robust Covid-19 safety program existing in the global aviation community, we are working to ensure that Qatar Airways becomes the first airline in the Middle East to begin testing the technology. revolutionary IATA Travel Pass and we are committed to supporting the airline industry as a whole through the IATA Industry Advisory Committee.
“We hope that by investing in this technology, we can further encourage passengers around the world to have greater confidence in the safety of air travel and start planning their future trips in the coming months.”