The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has revealed that the IATA Travel Pass has been successfully trialled by Singapore Airlines, marking the app’s first use on an international flight.

Singapore Airlines announced last week that it would become the first airline in the world to pilot the IATA Travel Pass app, conducting a two-week trial between March 15-28 for customers travelling from Singapore to London.

Passengers arrived at London Heathrow Airport, having used the technology to create a secure digital version of their passport on their mobile device. Travellers were able to input flight details to learn of travel restrictions and requirements, and subsequently receive verified test results and a confirmation that they meet such criteria.

The digital health verification app has been under development since last year, and several carriers have signed up for trials in the coming weeks and months, including Air Baltic, Malaysia AirlinesRwandair and Air New Zealand. Three of the Gulf’s largest airlines are also set to conduct trials, and BA’s parent company IAG has been working with IATA on the development of the scheme.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA’s Director General and CEO, commented:

“The successful implementation of IATA Travel Pass in this trial with Singapore Airlines passengers demonstrates that technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help travelers and governments to manage travel health credentials. The significance of this to re-starting international aviation cannot be overstated.”

De Juniac added:

“Today’s success is a big win for many parties. It gives travelers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel. It shows that governments can efficiently manage these travel requirements with complete confidence in the identity of the passenger and the veracity of the travel credentials—importantly, avoiding long queues. And it’s a purpose-built means for airlines to manage the new travel requirements without drowning in inefficient and ineffective paper processes.”

JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President, Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines, also commented on the news:

“Digital health credentials will be essential as borders reopen and travel restrictions get progressively lifted worldwide. The successful implementation of the IATA Travel Pass reflects Singapore Airlines’ goal of using secure digital solutions to verify health credentials, and support a safe and seamless travel experience for our customers.”

This news comes after the European Commission unveiled a proposal for a digital green certificate to facilitate travel across the bloc – a move called upon by IATA earlier this year. The organisation welcomed the news, along with other associations in the aviation sector.

For a look at the pros and cons of “vaccine passports”, and the different options being developed, see our recent features: