IATA Travel Pass successfully trialled on first international flight

Those using the app are able to input vaccination records and can receive COVID-19 test results

The first traveller using the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) travel pass app to manage their health credentials landed at London Heathrow Airport yesterday (March 17).

“The successful implementation of IATA Travel Pass in this trial with Singapore Airlines passengers demonstrates that technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help travellers and governments to manage travel health credentials. The significance of this to re-starting international aviation cannot be overstated,” explains Alexandre de Juniac, director general and CEO of IATA.

Those travelling on Singapore Airlines flights from Singapore to London during the trial of the app can use it to create a secure digital version of their passport, input flight details to learn about varying travel restrictions and receive verified test results.

Photo IATA

JoAnn Tan, acting senior vice president for marketing and planning at Singapore Airlines, also supports the implementation of the new travel pass app, stating that it “reflects Singapore Airlines’ goal of using secure digital solutions to verify health credentials, and support a safe and seamless travel experience for our customers.”

The global standardisation for the testing and vaccination certificates is crucial to avoid confusion and inconvenience for customers.

In a recent poll conducted by the association, 89% of travellers stated that they agree with the need for global standards and 80% are happy to store their health credentials on the app.

“Airlines understand that their ground operations will grind to a halt if they have to manage COVID-19 travel requirements—test results or vaccine certifications—with paper documentation,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s senior vice president. “This trial is an opportunity for us to work with the UK government to demonstrate that the solution works and to share the results with others as we build a robust and efficient system that will help the world get moving again.”

To ensure the validity of the travel pass app, governments need to provide a universally recognised COVID-19 test/vaccination certificate so passengers can present these on their mobile devices. This should then ensure the acceptance of the certifications for passengers when they choose to travel internationally.