IATA to stop developing Travel Pass platform as COVID restrictions are lifted
Dubai: The International Air Transport Association (IATA) will stop developing its Travel Pass digital health platform as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted around the world.
“We continue to support current customers using the app. However, as COVID-19 restrictions are rapidly lifted, demand for sophisticated digital health wallets such as IATA Travel Pass is diminishing,” a spokesperson for the company said. industry body.
“As such, we have no plans to develop the product beyond its current capabilities,” the spokesperson added.
The platform, which was first announced by IATA in late 2020, allows passengers to have a digital passport verified with all their test or vaccination details prior to travel to meet requirements at the final destination. They are also able to share test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines to facilitate processing at airports.
Middle Eastern airlines such as Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways were among the first to test the platform.
Etihad stops promotion
Abu Dhabi-based Etihad Airways, which operates its own travel platform, will no longer promote Travel Pass, the airline’s digital chief said.
“IATA is halting development of the Travel Pass – this means we will no longer be promoting it,” said Frank Meyer, Chief Digital Officer of Etihad. “According to IATA, the need is fading right now.”
“It never really caught on among airlines or customers,” Meyer added.
Meanwhile, the airline plans to continue rolling out its “Verified To Fly” travel platform across its global network. The platform, which allows travelers to validate their COVID-19 travel documents before arriving at the airport, is currently available for a large majority of Etihad flights.
Emirates airline, which had rolled out the Travel Pass to more than 120 destinations, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Travel is back
Air travel saw a “strong” rebound in February 2022 compared to January 2022, as Omicron-related impacts moderated outside of Asia, IATA said in its latest update.
The industry body added that the war in Ukraine, which began on February 24, has not had a “major” impact on traffic levels.
Total traffic in February 2022 – measured in Revenue Passenger Kilometers or RPK – increased by 115.9% compared to February 2021. This is an improvement over January 2022, which was up 83, 1% compared to January 2021.
“As the long-awaited recovery in air travel gathers pace, it is important that our infrastructure providers are prepared for a significant increase in passenger numbers in the months to come,” said Willie Walsh, chief executive of the IATA.
“We are already seeing reports of unacceptable queues at some airports due to the increasing number of travellers. And that’s even ahead of the wave of Easter holiday travel in many markets next week,” Walsh said.
Countries are easing travel restrictions as the latest ‘Omicron’ variant appears to be mild compared to previous variants of the virus. Most destinations in North America, Europe and the Middle East now only require passengers to present their vaccination certificate upon arrival. Many airlines have also launched their own travel platforms to speed up the check-in process and reduce waiting times.
Are you going to Dubai? Here are the requirements:
All passengers traveling to Dubai from all countries (including GCC) must meet one of the conditions below:
- Present one or more valid vaccination certificate(s) showing that the passenger is fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved by the WHO or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and including a QR code.
- Present a valid negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate issued within 48 hours of sample collection and issued by an approved health service provider with a QR code.
- Present a valid medical certificate issued by the competent authorities stating that the passenger has recovered from COVID 19 within one month from the date of recovery until the date of arrival.
There are no longer any COVID-19 entry restrictions for travel to the UK. This includes requirements for testing, vaccination, quarantine and entry forms.
Only U.S. citizens, U.S. nationals, U.S. lawful permanent residents, and immigrants will be accepted for travel to the country if unvaccinated.
A non-US citizen who is not an immigrant will need to prove they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 before traveling by air to the United States from a foreign country. Certain categories of non-nationals, non-immigrants are exempt from this requirement.
All passengers must present a negative COVID-19 RT PCR report for a test taken within 72 hours of travel or a vaccination certificate showing that they have been fully vaccinated at least 15 days before arrival. Vaccination certificate should be issued by India, UAE or from a list of specified countries.
At the arrival
Passengers are subject to random testing upon arrival at the airport. Passengers selected for testing will submit the samples and be allowed to leave the airport. Those who test positive will be treated/isolated in accordance with current guidelines.