Following a statement issued by the airline on Tuesday, February 23rd, RwandAir, the flag carrier of Rwanda, will become the first African Airline to incorporate the IATA Travel Pass program into its operations on a trial basis. Developed as an initiative to restore passenger and government confidence towards the reopening of state borders, the IATA Travel Pass is an application that enables the ease of verification of a passenger’s compliance with COVID 19 testing and vaccine travel requirements through a secure digital platform.

RwandAir plans to commence this trial in April for a duration of three weeks, for passengers travelling on its route network from the state capital in Kigali to Nairobi, Kenya.

Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO of RwandAir, addressed the announcement stating, “RwandAir is proud to be the first African airline to trial IATA Travel Pass, which could reinforce all the health and safety measures and protocols which we have put in place to restore customer confidence to fly once more. We are incredibly proud to be part of IATA’s Industry Advisory Panel, to ensure we guide the technology development in a way that covers the unique requirements of our passenger profile.”

Yvonne Manzi Makolo goes on to add that “IATA’s innovative solution simplifies and digitally transmits the information required by countries and governments around the world into our airline systems, in a secure and efficient manner. Travel Pass will make it easy for our customers to resume flying – and just as easy for RwandAir, and airlines around the world, to accept them.”

Commenting on the airline's response to the initiative, Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, said, “RwandAir is showing its industry leadership in Africa by becoming the first airline on the continent to trial IATA Travel Pass. RwandAir has long used IATA products as the most reliable source of information on entry requirements. This trial will build on that history of working in partnership and takes us a step further in the context of COVID-19. IATA Travel Pass will give governments the confidence to re-open their borders knowing that arriving passengers are in full compliance with any testing or vaccination requirements.”

The application incorporates a database registry of testing centres and labs at the departure and arrival points of each route network. This works in tandem with a digital passport - created on the app by passengers travelling the route - which verifies that the vaccination and pre-travel COVID-19 test requirements for the arrival destination are met by each passenger. Additionally, the platform will allow passengers to share their test and vaccination information through a secure channel with participating authorities and airlines around the globe to establish smooth and seamless travel.