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May 31, 2021 / 15:31

Vietnam Airlines to pilot IATA Travel Pass in June

The digital app is a solution to revive international travel during the pandemic.

The national flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will conduct the trial of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass in June, a digital travel mobile app that helps travelers to store and manage their verified certifications for Covid-19 tests or vaccines. 

 Vietnam Airlines will conduct the trial of the International Air Transport Association Travel Pass this June. Photo: Vietnam Airlines

Vietnam Airlines has become the first Vietnamese air carrier to pilot the app on domestic and international flights when signing an agreement with the IATA on the trial. 

Le Hong Ha, General Director of Vietnam Airlines said: “We believe that our ability to accelerate digital transformation along with IATA's extensive expertise in the aviation sector will bring certain successes after the test.” 

An electronic health passport solution such as the IATA Travel Pass should be widely authorized and recognized by governments, helping to quickly restore regular international passenger transport, Ha added. “The most important goal is to create air passenger confidence and ensure a safe and seamless travel experience for all,” he said.

Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President for the Airport, Passengers, Cargo and Security Division, said: “This is a solution to revive international travel during the pandemic, ensure that passengers meet all Covid-19 prevention requirements upon entry.”

“The IATA Travel Pass holds the key to the resumption of the travel and tourism industry as an important contributor to a country's economy,” he said.

The application enables passengers to create a "digital passport", which allows information about Covid-19 tests or proof of vaccination to be shared with border authorities. With this app, the IATA also aims to give governments the confidence to reopen borders without imposing quarantines on incoming travelers. 

The two sides started discussing the IATA Travel Pass in February. Vietnam Airlines has worked with domestic and international agencies to pilot the Covid-19 vaccine passport.

The Vietnamese Ministry of Transport will inform the competent authorities of the mechanism to accelerate the reopening of regular international flights to Vietnam.

IATA has been negotiating with countries on electronic health passports, rather than requiring paper certifications. Singapore, Panama, and Estonia have officially allowed passengers to use the IATA Travel Pass app upon entry.

In addition, more than 30 airlines announced the trial of this scheme, including Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways.