Emirates and Etihad Airways will be among the first airlines in the world to trial Iata’s digital ‘Covid passport’.
The mobile Iata Travel Pass app has been designed to help passengers manage travel in line with any government requirements for Covid-19 testing or vaccine information.
Passengers can create a digital passport to verify their pre-travel test or vaccination meets the requirements of the destination.
They will also be able to share test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines to enable travel.
The new app will also let travellers manage all travel documentation digitally.
The carrier will implement the first phase in Dubai for the validation of Covid-19 PCR tests before departure prior to a full introduction.
The initial phase, expected to begin in April, will see passengers travelling from the Gulf hub given the ability to share their test status directly with the airline even before reaching the airport via the app, which will then auto-populate the details on the check-in system.
Iata Travel Pass will initially be offered to Etihad Airways passengers on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of the year.
Emirates chief operating officer Adel Al Redha said: “While international travel remains as safe as ever, there are new protocols and travel requirements with the current global pandemic.
“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.
“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.”
Etihad Aviation Group chief operating officer Mohammad Al Bulooki said: “Covid-19 tests and vaccinations will be key to get the world flying again.
“Since 1 August 2020, 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.
“A high priority for Etihad is for our guests to have an easy, secure and efficient way to identify and verify their information. 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.”
Iata airport, passenger, cargo and security senior vice president Nick Careen added: “This is the first step in making international travel during the pandemic as convenient as possible giving people the confidence that they are meeting all Covid-19 entry requirements by governments.
“As borders re-open, Iata Travel Pass will be further enhanced with more capabilities to meet all governments testing or vaccination verification requirements.”
An integrated registry of travel requirements within the app will also enable passengers to find accurate information on travel and entry requirements for all destinations regardless of where they are travelling from.
It will also include a registry of testing and eventually vaccination centres – making it more convenient for passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.
The platform will also enable authorised labs and test centres to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers.
The global registry, managed by Iata, will manage and allow the secure flow of necessary information amongst all stakeholders and to provide a seamless passenger experience.