Travel pass

Saudi Arabia set to accept IATA travel pass for all passengers

Passengers arriving or departing from Saudi Arabia can start using the IATA Travel Pass to confirm COVID-19 test results before departure from September 30. While many airlines have trialled the IATA Travel Pass, Saudi Arabia joins only a handful of countries to start using it at their borders.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s acceptance of the IATA Travel Pass will demonstrate how digital solutions can efficiently manage both COVID-19 vaccine and test certificates,” said Willie Walsh, Director General of IATA. “The confidence that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has placed in the IATA Travel Pass is an example for other governments to follow.”


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Travelers to Saudi Arabia still need paper proof of their vaccination status

Saudi Arabia is open to most vaccinated international visitors traveling on a tourist visa. Currently, travelers from Afghanistan, Argentina, Brazil, Egypt, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Lebanon, Pakistan, Turkey, South Africa, UAE Arab States and Vietnam are not retained.

Travelers from other countries, including the United States and European Union countries, must provide proof of full course of one of the three currently recognized vaccines. These four vaccines are Oxford/Astra Zeneca, Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna.

Travelers arriving in Saudi Arabia must also provide a negative PCR test taken no later than 72 hours before departure. From September 30, travelers can start flashing their IATA Travel Pass to show their test results from or to Saudi Arabia. IATA hopes Saudi Arabia will soon start accepting vaccine results on its Travel Pass. At this time, travelers will need to bring an approved paper vaccination certificate.

The IATA Travel Pass accompanies you on your smartphone. Photo: IATA

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Travel takes a step forward in restoring international air travel

The IATA Travel Pass will complement the Saudi national health app, Tawakkalna. Abdulaziz A. Al Duailej, director general of the General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia (GACA), said the adoption of the IATA travel pass was part of the country’s drive to adopt certificates of digital health and restore international connectivity.

“GACA is committed to supporting all stakeholders to facilitate and facilitate air travel effectively and efficiently by adopting international best practices,” says the Director General of GACA. “We are committed to driving the adoption of digital health certificates and restoring international air travel.”

IATA wants Saudi Arabia to also start accepting its digital pass to prove its vaccination status. Photo: IATA

Saudi Arabia’s major air projects

Inputs to the Saudi airline industry contribute about 6% to Saudi Arabia’s GDP, and this is expected to increase. Saudi Arabia has watched how its Gulf neighbors have grown their airlines into global names by exploiting the advantages of their location at the junction of three continents. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz wants a slice of that pie and plans to make Saudi Arabia a major air transport hub.

In addition, Saudi Arabia has attempted to boost inbound international tourism. In 2019, the country eased its visa regime for tourists from 49 countries to encourage more inbound travellers.

Like everyone else, Saudi Arabia did not anticipate COVID-19 and its impact on air travel. Now, like everyone else, the Kingdom recognizes that digital passes will be part of the future of travel. If Saudi Arabia is to get its plans back on track, simplifying entry and exit procedures will be crucial.

IATA believes that its ticket is part of this solution. IATA says its pass will simplify and improve compliance with health requirements for travelers entering Saudi Arabia and contribute to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry.

Travelers considering travel to Saudi Arabia should check with the airline they are traveling with if they are eligible to use the IATA Travel Pass.

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