Etihad and Emirates to launch digital IATA travel pass

Etihad Airways and Emirates airline stepped into a partnership with the International Air Transport Association to launch the IATA Travel Pass for passengers of both airlines. The new “digital passport“ should help travelers to manage necessary travel documentation throughout their journey.

On January 19, 2021, Etihad Airways and Emirates announced plans to adopt the IATA Travel Pass into their operations to help passengers manage their travel documentation in line with governmental requirements for the COVID-19 tests or vaccines in an easier way.

According to the Etihad Airways statement, the airline plans to offer the “digital passport“ on flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021. If successful, the pass would be offered for passengers flying to other destinations on the airline’s network.

“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,“ quoted Mohammad Al Bulooki, the Chief Operating Officer at Etihad Aviation Group.

Meanwhile, before a full roll-out Emirates plans to trial the new technology in April 2021. The airline will test the attractiveness of the pass on its routes from Dubai. According to Emirates statement, passengers traveling from Dubai would be able to share their COVID-19 test status directly with the air carrier before reaching the airport through the application, which would then auto-fill the details on the check-in system.

“[…]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,“ said Adel Al Redha, the Chief Operating Officer at Emirates.

The IATA Travel Pass is, a mobile application, was designed to assist passengers while navigating through pandemic related travel restrictions in various countries. Also, the application was created to help securely share the test and vaccine certificates with airlines and governments. 

Within the IATA Travel Pass, passengers will be able to find the necessary information on travel and entry requirements for all destinations both airlines fly to. The “digital pass“ will also help authorized labs and test centers to securely provide the results of the COVID-19 testing as well as vaccination certificates to passengers. 

The innovation will also include a registry that will point out for travelers the testing and vaccination centers at the departure location which meets the standards of testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.


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