Qatar Airways announced that it is targeting to be the first airline in the Middle East to begin trialling the innovative new IATA Blockchain enabled Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app, in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), from March 2021. The trial will play an important role in the airline’s vision to have a more contactless, secure and seamless travel experience for its passengers.
The first phase of trials of the ‘Digital Passport’ will be rolled out on the airline’s Doha to Istanbul route, enabling passengers to receive COVID-19 test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey. It will also allow travellers to safely and securely share their verified ‘OK to Travel’ status with the airline and other stakeholders, even before their arrival at the airport.
IATA Travel Pass will also provide up-to-date information on COVID-19 health regulations helping travellers to ensure they meet the latest government entry requirements of their destination country.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “With the most rigorous and robust COVID-19 safety programme in existence within the global aviation community, we are focused on ensuring that Qatar Airways will become the first airline in the Middle East to begin trialling the ground-breaking IATA Travel Pass technology and we are committed to supporting the airline industry as a whole through IATA’s Industry Advisory Panel.
“As an industry leader and the only 5-Star-rated global airline recently announced in the Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, we are commited to safeguarding the safety, health and wellbeing of our passengers, and ensuring an integrated, seamless customer experience at every point of their journey with us.
“The IATA Travel Pass effectively acts as a ‘digital passport’ for travellers and is the latest tool in our fight against the spread of COVID-19, enabling passengers to securely and effortlessly navigate their travel plans, safe in the knowledge that their verified travel credential is based on the latest COVID-19 information, the strictest data privacy regulations and entry rules for the destination they will travel to.
“We hope that by investing in this technology we are able to further encourage passengers around the world to have greater confidence in the safety of air travel and begin making future travel plans over the coming months.”
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, said: “Qatar Airways is showing its industry leadership. IATA Travel Pass will verify testing or vaccination credentials of travellers, which is the key to unlocking travel without quarantine measures. The Qatar Airways digital passport trial will help us build confidence among governments and travellers that IATA Travel Pass can securely and conveniently link traveller identities with their digital travel credentials. It will also help us prove that ICAO’s global standards for digital passports work. And it will highlight the need for governments to accelerate their work with industry to develop global standards for health certificates—a critical enabler to safely re-connecting the world.”
Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provide assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment.
Last month both Eithad and Emirates Airlines announced their intentions to trial Travel Pass as well.