Mavroudis Global Transportation & Logistics

International Airlines Start To Roll Out Vaccine Passports

March 22, 2021

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On Thursday, a Qatar Airways flight from Doha to Istanbul, Turkey, trialed a new digital passport embedded with vaccination information and test results, according to NBC News.

The digital passport is being launched to prevent fraud with the paperwork and to standardize information and share it securely.

NBC noted that international travel is likely to be the first industry to use the new passports.

It is done fairly simply. Travelers log in to the Travel Pass app using FaceID on their smartphones, then take selfies to authorize access. They can then scan their passports using the cameras on the phones. From there, passengers can add their itineraries, vaccination certificates and Covid-19 test results.

"What it will do is give people and the authorities confidence that your documentation is correct that you have been vaccinated. You don't have to carry pieces of paper around, which you could lose and get into a bind with the authorities," Qatar Airways Group CEO Akbar Al Baker said.

Both the International Air Transport Association, which developed the Travel Pass, and the airlines using it say the Travel Pass will adhere to strict data privacy restrictions.

"It also will give you confidence as a passenger that your data that you have put into the system stays on your smartphone and is not being shared with anybody else," Al Baker said.

Air New Zealand plans to trial the Travel Pass next month on its Auckland-Sydney route.

“Once borders reopen, travel is going to look very different, with customers’ health data needing to be verified at check-in. It’s essentially like having a digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines,” Air New Zealand Chief Digital Officer Jennifer Sepull said. “This will give customers peace of mind that they meet all travel requirements for the different countries around the world before they even get to the airport.”

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