Africa’s leading airline, Ethiopian Airlines, yesterday became the first airline on the continent to conduct a trial of the IATA Travel Pass, a digital travel mobile app to enhance efficiency in testing or vaccine verifications. As travel restarts, travellers need accurate Covid-19-related information such as testing and vaccine requirements that vary among countries.
The IATA Travel Pass initiative assists in the verification of test information authenticity presented by travellers, which is essential for ensuring the safety of passengers while complying with different international entry requirements.
The trial is being conducted on flights out of Addis Ababa to Washington DC and Toronto as well as on flights out of London and Toronto to Addis Ababa.
Ethiopian has gone digital in all of its operations to avoid physical contact and combat the spread of the pandemic and now, embarks on this initiative which will allow passengers to relish unparalleled flight experience.
Regarding the trial of the IATA pass, Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said: “Digital technology is vital to solving many of the problems that arise from the pandemic. We are glad that we are offering new digital opportunities to our passengers so as to fully and safely restart air travel. Our customers will enjoy efficient, contactless and safer travel experience with their travel pass digital passport. As a safety-first airline, we have become the first African airline to trail IATA’s travel pass initiative to facilitate travel. The new initiative will increase travellers’ confidence in travel, encourages governments to reopen their borders and expedites industry restart.’’
Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security said: “Ethiopian Airlines is once again showing its leadership position in Africa becoming the first carrier to implement a live trial of IATA Travel Pass. The trial will help build confidence among governments and travellers that digital health apps can safely, securely and conveniently help restart aviation. The app gives travellers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel and for governments complete assurance in the identity of the passenger and the authenticity of the travel credentials being presented. We urge Governments in Africa to accelerate the acceptance of digital health credentials for travel across the continent.”
The travel pass is expected to help create a digital passport, receive test and vaccination certificates and verify that they are sufficient for their route, and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel. The digital travel app will also contribute to avoiding fraudulent documentation and making air travel more convenient.