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Emirates and Etihad Become Launch Customers of IATA Travel Pass

Two of the Middle East Three will be the first airlines to utilize the IATA Travel Pass for international travel. Emirates and Etihad Airways will use the digital health passport to help travelers manage COVID-19 restrictions for international travel, including testing and vaccination information.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will partner with the two major airlines of the United Arab Emirates to roll out their digital travel pass app. The trade organization announced that Emirates and Etihad Airways will be the launch customers of the IATA Digital Pass, helping flyers manage COVID-19 restrictions as they fly internationally.

IATA Digital Pass Serves as App-Based Passport for Health Requirements

In development since 2020, the IATA Travel Pass is designed to work as a digital health passport for travelers. In one secure place, flyers can store their COVID-19 testing results direct from laboratories, as well as their current vaccination status.

To ensure the app works correctly, the IATA will do a phase one rollout with both Emirates and Etihad. For Emirates, the roll out will begin in April, with the app storing COVID-19 PCR test results for flyers departing Dubai. Etihad’s rollout will begin during the first quarter of 2021, for flyers on select flights leaving Abu Dhabi. If the app is successful, both airlines will work with the IATA to extend it to other flights and destinations.

“Etihad is the only airline requiring a pre-departure negative PCR test result for all passengers worldwide, and again on arrival in Abu Dhabi, giving our guests the added assurance of safety when they travel with us,” Mohammad Al Bulooki, chief operating officer of Etihad, said in a press release. “Being one of the first airlines globally working with IATA as a pioneer partner on the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward for Etihad’s guests and for the industry.”

“We have worked with IATA on this innovative solution to simplify and digitally transmit the information that is required by countries and governments into our airline systems, in a secure and efficient manner,” Adel Al Redha, chief operating officer of Emirates, said in a separate statement. “We are proud to be one of the first airlines in the world to pilot this initiative, which will provide an enhanced customer experience and conveniently facilitate our customers’ travel needs.”

Through the platform, accredited testing laboratories will be able to send test results and vaccination certificates to flyers straight through the app. In turn, the IATA will manage the global database, ensuring that data flows seamlessly between stakeholders. Passengers on the trial flights will be the first to test the Digital Pass before it is accessible by the public.

Digital Pass One of Two Health Passports In Development

In addition to the IATA Digital Pass, another airline group is also working on their own version of a digital health passport. Lufthansa, JetBlue and United Airlines are partners in the development of CommonPass, one of several projects in the works from the Commons Foundation.

jackmaninov January 31, 2021

Four airlines I'll never fly with again. Thanks, and keep publicizing yourselves!

timesnaps January 27, 2021

Nothing is a lost cause.... If it wasnt for silly sheeple attitude. Its time to stand up for the freedoms we have earned over the last 100 years or so. Be human, be respectful to others, show compassion and dont follow the fear-mongering. (btw, most European Covid vaccinations have so far been recorded on the same yellow WHO Vaccination & Certification Record that have been done in the past. )

AsiaTravel2019 January 23, 2021

This is simple: give me a safe, effective vaccine and I will get back in the sky!

jollyannie January 21, 2021

Anyone who steps into the public space is on camera.......it is a fact of life......so if you don't want to be recorded don't leave your house......... While some may not like this invasion of privacy I believe most customers will find it reassuring........ Not using our iPhones to do contact tracing in the US has had disastrous results........government ultimately steps into our lives when a significant portion of the population is unrestrained..........our daily case loads and death totals show just how unrestrained we have been.........

PDog January 21, 2021

The rights people are willing to give up out of fear is mind boggling.