The world’s largest airline association has developed an app that will let you have testing, vaccine and policy information all in one place. It is currently in a testing phase but could provide a route to a less complicated route to travel as the world returns from COVID-19.
Many major airlines have signed up to test the digital program created by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) which will act as a “vaccination passport” all sorts.
IATA represents 290 airlines, or 82% of global air traffic, and has a great influence on international travel protocols.
But what is the IATA transport ticket? Which countries and airlines use it? And how can this help you if you are looking to go abroad this year?
What is the IATA travel pass used for?
IATA believes existing COVID-related travel procedures are leaving passengers confused. They want to combine testing, vaccine and policy information into a single mobile phone app accessible to travelers and airlines.
The app claims to do the following:
- Allow passengers to create a “digital passport” where they can verify that their test and vaccination will allow them to enter their destination.
- Make it easy for passengers to get tested at home and abroad.
- It can be used by travelers to have their travel documents digitally stored
Which airlines have opted for the pass?
Twenty airlines have currently said they intend to test the pass. This includes industry leaders such as Emirates, Virgin Atlantic and Qantas.
A full list can be found here.
When was it launched?
On March 17, the first successful trip was made with the IATA pass. They flew from Singapore to London Heathrow Airport with Singapore Airlines.
This led to Singapore approve the use of the pass for all future arrivals.
IATA CEO Alexandre de Juniac said the success proved “that technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help travelers and governments manage travelers’ health credentials.”
“The importance of this for restarting international aviation cannot be overstated.”
Do I need it to fly?
The pass is not yet operational, but expect more airlines to consider using it this summer as testing continues.
IATA has confirmed that it does not impose any specific vaccination requirements to use its app – the only requirement is that you follow the rules in your country of origin and destination.
For now, you should follow the advice given by your destination country.
How do I get an IATA travel pass?
IATA revealed that the pass will be available through a mobile app. No definitive launch date has been set, but users can expect to download and as they would with any other travel app.
A task force has been formed to address the concerns of families with older and younger members who do not own a smartphone.
What does this mean for travelers?
This could mean that passengers will not be able to travel without digital documentation indicating they have been vaccinated or tested negative for COVID-19.
Passengers will still have to follow each country’s travel regulations, but could get their information from a single source, reducing people’s planning stress and making things easier.
What does it need to function?
The IATA Travel Pass will only work successfully if airlines, travelers and governments agree on its goals and outcomes. They plan to meet in October, when de Juniac hopes “the borders will be open enough to come together.”
Watch this space for further updates.