The head of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has recently confirmed that its Travel Pass app is slated to go live in the coming weeks, Reuters reported. Originally designed to facilitate passenger screenings at airport check-in and aircraft boarding stages, the app has also been updated for passenger immigration clearance upon arrival.
During an online media briefing, IATA director general Willie Walsh commented that feedback for the Travel Pass app has been positive. He added that it is expected to go live in the next couple of weeks after another round of tests, where an estimated total of 60,000 people have been registered to trial the system.
According to the association’s official Twitter account, among the next batch to test the app’s capabilities includes Vietnamese airline company VietJetAir. Nick Careeen, IATA’s senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, is optimistic that this collaboration will demonstrate that digital health apps can securely, conveniently and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials. “This is a positive step forward towards restarting international aviation,” he said as per VietJetAir’s press release.
— IATA (@IATA) June 10, 2021
Our country’s own Malaysian Airlines were also among the first to test IATA’s app earlier this year, covering flights travelling from Kuala Lumpur to London between 30 April to 31 May 2021. In late May, the airline announced that it will be extending and expanding the trial, which will now feature flights from Kuala Lumpur to Melbourne, Australia and to Narita, Japan. It added that Travel Pass trials for the KL-Melbourne route had commenced on 30 May, while other trial-based flights will soon follow after.
Malaysia Airlines also announced back in February that it is developing its own Digital Travel Health Pass with help from the IATA trials. The airline’s pass basically incorporates the four main modules of Travel Pass into its own mobile app as a one-step solution for its customers, while also making it more user friendly and approachable by “taking into account technical and cultural factors”. Malaysia Airlines has yet to confirm when it plans to debut the Digital Travel Health Pass.