January 26 2021  |  Airlines & Airports

Qatar Airways first airline in region to trial “Digital Passport”

By Wendy Morley

In March, passengers on the Qatar Airways’ Doha to Istanbul route will trial IATA’s new digital platform, enabling them to seamlessly travel between the two countries in a safer and more secure way

Qatar Airways has announced it will begin to trial IATA’s new Digital Passport mobile app, IATA Travel Pass — an important step in the airline's vision to have a more contactless, secure and seamless travel experience for its passengers.

The first trial will take place on the airline’s Doha to Istanbul route, allowing passengers to receive COVID-19 test results, verify their eligibility to travel and securely share their verified “OK to Travel” status with the airline and other stakeholders.

The travel app will also provide up-to-date information on COVID-19 health regulations for travelers’ destination countries.

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.”

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