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UAE's Etihad Airways announces launch of 'COVID-19 passports' for safer travel

January 19, 2021
Coronavirus app
Coronavirus app

ABU DHABI — The International Air Transport Association and Etihad Airways, the UAE national airline, on Tuesday announced a partnership to launch the IATA Travel Pass for Etihad Airways’ guests.

The IATA Travel Pass, which is also being termed as "digital passport," is a mobile app to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines.

IATA Travel Pass will initially be offered to Etihad’s guests on selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021. If successful, the pass will be extended to other destinations on the Etihad network, the airline said in a statement on Tuesday.

The IATA Travel Pass will enable Etihad’s guests to create a ‘digital passport’ to receive COVID test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey. Importantly, the Travel Pass will keep passengers in control of their data and facilitate the sharing of their tests with airlines and authorities for travel. It will also make it convenient for passengers to manage travel documentation throughout their journey.

"COVID-19 tests and vaccinations will be key to get the world flying again. Since Aug. 1, 2020, Etihad is the only airline requiring a pre-departure negative PCR test result for all passengers worldwide, and again on arrival in Abu Dhabi, giving our guests the added assurance of safety when they travel with us," said Mohammad Al Bulooki, Chief Operating Officer, Etihad Aviation Group.

"A high priority for Etihad is for our guests to have an easy, secure, and efficient way to identify and verify their information. Being one of the first airlines globally working with IATA as a pioneer partner on the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward for Etihad’s guests and for the industry," he added.

For his part, Nick Careen, IATA's Senior Vice President, Airport, Passenger, Cargo, and Security, stated: "The Etihad Airways partnership to launch the IATA Travel Pass is an important milestone on the road to meaningfully restarting international travel. Our aim is to give all governments the confidence to re-open borders to travelers based on the verified vaccine and testing data. The initial stage of the Etihad launch will focus on all four elements of the IATA Travel Pass modules, one of the first airlines in the world to do so."

IATA Travel Pass has been developed as four independent modules that can interact with each other. These modules cover registries for regulatory entry requirements and labs/test centers, verified certificate issuance, digital identity, and the possibility for passengers to share their test results along their journey via their mobile device. — WAM


January 19, 2021
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