Qantas Group has confirmed it is in the final stages of the development of a digital health pass that all passengers on international Qantas and Jetstar flights will be required to use once overseas flights resume.
The company said it will adopt the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass following trials of several digital solutions on Qantas’ international repatriation flights in recent months.
Currently, close to 50 global airlines are trialling the IATA Travel Pass, including Air New Zealand, Singapore Airlines, Japan Airlines and British Airways.
The IATA Travel Pass offers a convenient and secure method for customers to verify COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff. The app connects customers to certified testing labs so that results can be uploaded to the platform and customers can show they have a vaccine certificate and/or proof of a negative COVID test result before their flight.
Importantly, the IATA Travel Pass matches a customer’s health information against a specific flight, checks the entry requirements for the country they are travelling to, and provides clearance to travel on that flight, to both the customer and airline.
The announcement follows the Federal Government’s release of its four-phase national COVID-19 response plan which includes validating the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas.
Many countries where Qantas and Jetstar operate, including the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, have announced requirements of either a proof of vaccine or negative COVID test result to enter without quarantine.
“We want to get our international flights back in the air and our people back to work and a digital health pass will be a key part of that,” said Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully.
“Many governments are already requiring proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test result for international travel. Even if it wasn’t a government requirement, Qantas has always been a leader in safety and we have a responsibility to our customers and crew.
“A digital health pass will connect customers with COVID testing facilities, health authorities and airlines, and ultimately enable the opening of more travel bubbles and borders.”
IATA Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security, Nick Careen said the digital platform is essential for travel while COVID-19 remains a risk.
“We are delighted that the Qantas Group has decided to progress plans to use IATA Travel Pass as a convenient and secure method for travellers to verify and share their COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff.
“IATA Travel Pass delivers an advantage over other solutions in that the app enables travellers to create a digital ID derived from a government-issued document such as a passport. This means that airlines and governments can have full confidence in the test/vaccine results both from a content and identity perspective. Being able to validate the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas is critical to enable Australia’s four-phase national COVID response plan,” Careen said.
Image credit: IATA/Facebook