Singapore Airlines (SIA) has started trials on a new digital health verification process, the 1st in the world to be based on the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass framework.
This will allow customers the ability to securely store and present information related to COVID-19 tests, along with their vaccination status in the future.
This service is already being offered from 23rd December,2020, to customers travelling from Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta to Singapore. Singapore airlines said that if the service is successful, it could be extended to other cities in the SIA route network.
Customers who take their COVID-19 tests at selected clinics in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur are given either digital or paper health certificates with a QR Code.
“Airport check-in staff and Singapore’s immigration authority would be able to verify the authenticity of these certificates via a secure mobile app, and ensure that the customers meet Singapore’s entry requirements.”, said Singapore Airlines in a press release.
This will be a faster and more secure way to validate a passenger’s health credentials than the existing protocols, speeding up both the airport check-in process and the immigration entry process into Singapore. It will make it easier for customers also to store their information, reduce contact during the travel journey, and result in a more seamless experience with the aid of digital technologies in the new normal.
Based on IATA Travel Pass
IATA’s Timatic registry will provide the back-end information on the COVID-19 testing and entry requirements. This is also a part of modular Travel Pass, which aims to allow travellers to easily and securely manage their travel in line with national requirements for Covid-19 testing and vaccine information.
“COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be an integral part of air travel for the foreseeable future. We are offering a digital solution that allows the easy and secure verification of this information, and supports the industry’s safe and calibrated recovery from this pandemic. Using IATA’s robust Travel Pass framework would also provide our customers and governments with the assurance that they need about the security and authenticity of the test and vaccination information.”, said Ms JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines.
The Singapore-based carrier also plans to integrate the entire process into the SingaporeAir mobile app from around mid-2021, again using the Travel Pass framework, supporting the drive for a secure and convenient industry standard for the verification of COVID-19 test and vaccinations.
Affinidi, a Temasek-founded technology company, has developed an application enabling verification of portable and verifiable data credentials.
“Partnering with Singapore Airlines for the world’s first deployment of the Timatic Covid-19 module of the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward. Together we will demonstrate that people can return to travel with confidence that they are meeting all government Covid-19 entry requirements. We already have plans to add additional features in the New Year. This will help ensure that SIA’s customers will be among the first to benefit as governments re-open their borders with testing or vaccination requirements. And the experience gained through collaboration helps prepare for the eventual global deployment of the IATA Travel Pass.”, said Mr Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security.
“SIA and IATA trials are an important step to facilitate the return of air travel. It is an innovative approach to ensure a seamless travel journey whilst ensuring that health and border agencies are reassured that the passengers have the necessary health credentials to protect public health. We hope that other countries and airlines will consider taking a similar approach. CAAS will work with our partners to incorporate such solutions into our air travel recovery efforts.”, said Ms Margaret Tan, Director (Airport Operations Regulation & Aviation Security), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS).
The airline is working closely with its partners in Singapore, including the Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) in the facilitation of these trials and towards the eventual restoration of a seamless travel experience.