Emirates and Etihad Airways have partnered with the International Air Transport Association to introduce a covid-19 Travel Pass for passengers who have been inoculated against Covid-19 or have tested negative.
Both Etihad and Emirates will become the first airlines globally to trial the new travel pass from the International Air Transport Association (IATA). This mobile app will help travelers to ensure their pre-travel test and/or vaccination records meet the needs of the destination to which they are traveling with there covid-19 travel pass.
For airlines like Emirates and Etihad, reopening international travel is crucial to their business models. With limited opportunities for short-haul activities within their region, carriers in the UAE rely on shuttling passengers between east and west through their hubs.
As such, anything that can make it swifter and easier to get people onto the plane again will be welcomed with open arms. Therefore, it’s not a great surprise that both Emirates and Etihad have jumped at the chance to become the launch customers for a trial of a new Travel Pass from the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
Both airlines will be rolling out the Covid-19 Travel Pass in the coming weeks. For Etihad customers, the Pass will initially be offered to passengers on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of the year.
For Emirates, prior to a full rollout of the covid-19 travel Pass, the airline will be implementing what it is calling ‘phase 1’ in Dubai. This will allow it to validate COVID-19 PCR tests before departure. Expected to begin in April, this will give passengers the opportunity to send their COVID-19 test status to Emirates before reaching the airport, saving time and hassle on site.
What is the Travel Pass?
Developed in house by IATA, the Covid-19 Travel Pass provides a centralized, app-based ‘digital passport’ to collect and verify all the pre-travel requirements passengers might need. Within the app, passengers will be able to verify that their test and/or vaccination meets the requirements of the destination they want to travel to, and can even share their vaccination or test certificates with the relevant authorities to enable travel.
As well as this, it provides support for passengers both before and during the travel experience. Passengers can, at a glance, find accurate and up to date information on the testing, vaccine and travel requirements for their journey, and can even help them locate a suitable testing center or lab which meets the standards for vaccines or tests required in their destination.
Some of these labs will even be able to securely send test results or vaccination certificates directly to passengers via the app.
With the assistance of these two UAE airlines in trialing the app, IATA will be able to gather crucial information and feedback from users, helping it to tailor the Covid-19 Travel Pass to be the ideal solution to restarting travel.