IATA joins with IAG to trial digital health pass

By Bev Fearis, published 25/11/20

IATA and International Airlines Group (IAG) have announced they are close to launching a digital health pass for air travellers.

The IATA Travel Pass is designed to manage and verify the secure flow of testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers.

“Today borders are double locked,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, who is to step down in the spring.

“Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures. The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveller identities in compliance with border control requirements. That’s the job of IATA Travel Pass.

“We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.”

Trials of the pass will be carried out in partnership with IAG.

IATA said the system requires testing and vaccine labs to issue digital certificates to passengers that will be recognised by governments and then for these governments to put systems in place to verify the authenticity of tests and the passenger’s identity.

Travellers must also be given accurate information on test requirements, advice on where they can get tested or vaccinated, and the means to securely convey test information to airlines and border authorities.

The announcement came as Qantas CEO Alan Joyce predicted a future where only those who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 are allowed to board international flights.

In an interview on Australian TV, Joyce said Qantas would require international passengers to prove they have been vaccinated in order to board its flights.

"I think that's going to be a common thing talking to my colleagues in other airlines around the globe," he added.