Aviation News

Etihad Airways starts trials of IATA Travel Pass on flights to North America

Etihad Airways has announced that it has begun trials of IATA Travel Pass on flights to North America.

Passengers flying on Etihad Airways from now until 31st May 2021, from its hub at Abu Dhabi to New York, Chicago, Washington and Toronto will be the first to trial the IATA Travel Pass app.

The news comes after Emirates started trialling the IATA Travel Pass last week.

How to participate?

Passengers will have to download the IATA Travel Pass app from the Apple App Store and book an appointment with Life Diagnostics at Sultan Bin Zayed the First Street or BioGenix Labs at Masdar City.

Once at the clinic, passengers will have to inform reception that they are participating in the IATA Travel Pass trial and should be ready to show their passport and mobile device with the app downloaded.

Once the COVID-19 test result is ready, passengers will be able to view it on both the IATA Travel Pass app and also through the testing clinic’s own digital platform.

Benefits for passengers participating in the trials

Passengers who participate in the IATA Travel Pass trials will benefit from priority queue access at Life Diagnostics and Biogenix Labs for their PCR test, faster check-in at the airport and will also get a free 90MB Wi-Fi voucher to use in-flight.

However, if passengers do not wish to participate in the trials, then they can continue to follow the existing method of sharing PCR test results with Etihad by presenting a printed copy of their results at check in.

What is IATA Travel Pass?

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. The digital health verification app has been under development since last year, and over 20 airlines have signed up for trials in the coming weeks and months.

IATA Travel Pass will keep passengers in control of their data and facilitate the sharing of their test with airlines and authorities for travel. It will also make it convenient for passengers to manage travel documentation throughout their journey.

Qatar Airways was the 1st airline in Middle East to trial the app while Singapore Airlines has also started the trials.

Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Airways, said:

With the dynamically changing health requirements for travel, Etihad believes that a digital health passport solution will provide additional clarity and ease for travellers. Etihad has partnered with IATA so that together, a globally unified approach to a travel pass can be simplified to make travel easier once governments decide what regulations are required to cross borders in either direction.

Nick Careen, Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, IATA, said:

Etihad Airways trial of IATA Travel Pass will help build confidence among governments and travellers that digital health apps can safely, securely and conveniently help restart aviation. The app gives travellers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel, and for governments complete assurance in the identity of the passenger and the authenticity of the travel credentials being presented

Featured image by Etihad Airways

What do you think of Etihad’s trials of IATA Travel Pass and what do you think of the app itself? Let me know in the comments section below.

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