‘Covid-19 passport’: Global airline lobby working on mobile app for international travel
A lobby group that represents airlines worldwide has said that it is creating a mobile app to help passengers show they are Covid-free, as coronavirus vaccinations are expected to become mandatory for international travel.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that it was developing a “Travel Pass” app that would display test results together with proof of vaccination. The app will also link to an electronic copy of the holder’s passport, as well as provide rules and other relevant details for the country of entry.
British Airways parent IAG SA will participate in a test program using the app by the end of the year, with the digital certificate expected to be rolled out on Apple and Android devices in the first months of 2021.
IATA Senior Vice President, Airport Passenger Cargo and Security Nick Careen expressed hope that the app could potentially phase out mandatory self-isolation for travelers.
“Our main priority is to get people traveling again safely. That means giving governments confidence that systematic Covid-19 testing can work as a replacement for quarantine requirements,” said Careen.
News of the IATA’s project coincides with Qantas Airways CEO Alan Joyce’s announcement that his airline would make proof of Covid-19 vaccination mandatory for all international passengers. He claimed that he discussed the idea with other airlines, and that the policy was likely to become a requirement worldwide. Qantas has already expressed interest in adopting the mobile app being developed by the IATA.
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