IATA Travel Pass will support safe reopening of borders

KUALA LUMPUR: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is in the final development phase of its IATA Travel Pass, a digital health pass that will support the safe reopening of borders.

Its director general and chief executive officer (CEO) Alexandre de Juniac said IATA Travel Pass will manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers.

“Today borders are double locked. 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,” he said in a statement today.

IATA Travel Pass incorporates four open sourced and interoperable modules which can be combined for an end-to-end solution:

Firstly, global registry of health requirements — which enables passengers to find accurate information on travel, testing and eventually vaccine requirements for their journey.

Secondly, global registry of testing or vaccination centres that enables passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.

Thirdly, lab app, which enables authorised labs and test centres to securely share test and vaccination certificates with passengers.

Fourthly, contactless travel app — which enables passengers to create a ‘digital passport’, receive test and vaccination certificates and verify that they are sufficient for their itinerary, and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel.

“This app can also be used by travellers to manage travel documentation digitally and seamlessly throughout their journey, improving travel experience,” de Juniac said.

He said IATA and International Airlines Group (IAG) had been working together in the development of the solution and will undertake a trial to demonstrate that the platform combined with Covid-19 testing could reopen international travel and replace quarantine.

In addition, IATA senior vice president (Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security), Nick Careen said IATA’s main priority is to get people to travel again safely.

“In the immediate term that means giving governments confidence that systematic Covid-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements. And that will eventually develop into a vaccine programme.

“The IATA Travel Pass is a solution for both. We have built it using a modular approach based on open source standards to facilitate interoperability. It can be used in combination with other providers or as a standalone end-to-end solution.”

The most important thing is that the solution is responsive to the industry’s needs while enabling a competitive market, he added.

In a separate statement, IATA disclosed that de Juniac would be leaving the association effective March 31, 2021.

“De Juniac made known his intention to step down from the association several months ago which enabled a search process to facilitate a smooth leadership transition,” it said.

Meanwhile, de Juniac said he did not come to the decision lightly.

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve the global air transport industry, what I call the business of freedom as the head of IATA. Over the last years IATA has strategically increased its relevance as the voice of the global airline industry.

“We have a motivated team that is determined to get the job done. The building blocks for an industry recovery are in place. And now is the right time to hand over IATA’s leadership for the long process of recovery,” he said, among others.

De Juniac joined IATA in September 2016 from Air France-KLM where he was chairman and CEO.

IATA Board of Governors chair and CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr said the board will recommend to the 76th IATA Annual General Meeting (AGM) on Nov 24, 2020 for International Airlines Group former CEO Willie Walsh, to become IATA’s eighth director general from April 1, 2021.

“Alexandre has led our industry in extraordinary times. Under his leadership IATA has become a stronger and an even more relevant organisation.

“I am also pleased that we are able to present a very capable candidate to the 76th IATA AGM to succeed Alexandre in this important role. I am convinced that Willie will be a great director general for IATA,” he added. – Bernama