Virgin Atlantic will trial two digital health passes as it works with the UK government to allow the safe restart of international travel at scale.

From Monday (March 29), passengers flying with the airline can use the TrustAssure solution (pictured), which verifies Covid-19 test results.

Then the International Air Transport Association (Iata) Travel Pass smartphone app will be trialled on the airline’s Heathrow-Barbados flights from April 16.

Virgin Atlantic will be first UK airline to do a live trial of the Iata Travel Pass.

The one-month trial of the Iata app is being run in partnership with the government of Barbados, which will accept the pass at its border.

Customers travelling for permitted reasons will be invited to participate in the trial by downloading the Iata Travel Pass.

Using the free app, they can create a digital ID with a photo, passport information and Covid-19 credentials.

Future versions of the app will also incorporate vaccine records.

The app is being considered by governments around the world and Virgin Atlantic will seek approval from the British government to expand the trial, to accommodate customers arriving at the UK border on Barbados-Heathrow flights.

US-bound passengers using TrustAssure’s artificial intelligence-based solution can upload pre-departure test documentation before they fly and have the details validated in less than two minutes.

The technology has already been trialled by Virgin Atlantic’s joint venture partner, Delta Air Lines.

Once confirmed, customers receive a QR code with a green verification, meaning they can proceed through check-in.

Corneel Koster, chief customer and operating officer at Virgin Atlantic, said: “In parallel to the UK’s successful vaccination programme and accompanied by a risk-based, phased easing of restrictions, we can see a flightpath to soon allow the safe restart of international travel at scale, in time for summer.

“When the skies reopen; rapid, affordable testing combined with digital health integration will be vital to streamline and simplify the customer experience, make border health checks manageable and build consumer confidence.

“Governments, industry and technology companies need to work together to lead the adoption of digital solutions with global common standards that are accepted at borders.”

Nick Careen, Iata’s airport, passenger, cargo and security senior vice-president said: “This trial comes at a critical time for the UK government as it looks to map out a pathway to restart international aviation at scale though its Global Travel Task Force.

“We look forward to working with Virgin Atlantic and the UK government to pilot acceptance of Travel Pass at the UK Border and for the UK to be a global pioneer of this type of technology.”