Hong Kong Airlines is the latest carrier to trial the IATA Travel Pass in support of the restart of international travel.
This news comes after Hong Kong announced that it would reduce its mandatory quarantine period from 21 days to 14 days for some vaccinated travellers and reopen to low-risk tourists.
The airline has said that it will work closely with the International Air Transport Association, inviting passengers on selected routes to participate in the trial by downloading the app and creating a digital profile before selecting a participating medical service provider for testing.
The IATA Travel Pass app enables passengers to receive Covid-19 test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey through an ‘OK to Travel’ status – to understand more about the initiative, see the video below:
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 Airlines, Rwandair 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.
Last week, the IATA Travel Pass was successfully used for the first time on an international flight by Singapore Airlines.
Chris Birt, Hong Kong Airlines Director of Service Delivery, commented:
“Hong Kong Airlines has been working hard to make travel safe for our customers. We welcome the opportunity to contribute our inputs into the development of Travel Pass and will continue to support IATA’s efforts in leading the recovery of international travel. Given the constantly changing environment of the current pandemic and frequent modification of border restrictions by governments, Travel Pass is undoubtedly the best go-to app for passengers to access the most updated travel information, ensure they comply with the latest entry requirements and allow them to manage their digital health documents in a safe and secure way.”
Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security, added:
“Restarting international aviation safely has been at the forefront of IATA’s Travel Pass initiative. We are proud to partner [with] Hong Kong Airlines to trial the app and demonstrate that this technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials.”
For a look at the pros and cons of “vaccine passports”, and the different options being developed, see our recent features: