The “IATA Travel Pass,” an app designed to enhance compliance with health requirements for air passengers, is set to begin trials in Panama with Copa Airlines, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced.
“Panama is the first government to participate in a trial of IATA Travel Pass which will be essential to re-establishing global connectivity while managing the risks of COVID-19,” IATA said in a press statement last week (Feb 3).
In addition to checking travel requirements, the IATA Travel Pass will also include a registry of testing and, eventually, a directory for vaccination centres.
This will make it more convenient for passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location in order to meet the requirements of their destination.
The platform will enable authorized labs and test centres to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers, offering a more seamless passenger experience.
Copa Airlines is the first carrier in the Americas to trial the new technology.
“The IATA Travel Pass will simplify and enhance compliance with health requirements for our passengers,” stated Dan Gunn, Copa’s senior vice-president for operations. “An international standard solution for digital health passports such as IATA Travel Pass holds the key to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, which is an important contributor to Panama’s and Latin America’s economy.”
A “digital passport”
Using the IATA Travel Pass, Copa Airlines customers will be able to create a “digital passport.”
This will allow passengers to match their travel itineraries with the COVID-19 health requirements of their destination.
The initial trial phase is expected to begin in March on select flights from Copa’s Hub of the Americas in Panama City.
“The Government of Panama supports the implementation of this important tool developed by IATA that, through its integration with different stakeholders, will allow passengers to comply with our health requirements, thus restoring confidence in travel and tourism, important pillars for the country’s economic recovery,” Ivan Eskildsen, administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority, stated.
Nick Careen, IATA senior-vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security said the pass is “gaining momentum” as it begins trials.
“This is an important step in enabling international travel during the pandemic, giving people the confidence that they are meeting all COVID-19 entry requirements by governments,” Careen stated.
The IATA Travel Pass will also help give governments confidence that passengers have complied with health requirements enabling aviation to reconnect the region’s economies with each other and to the world, added Peter Cerdá, IATA regional vice-president for the Americas.
“Copa Airlines’ extensive network in the region and Panama’s strategic geographic position makes them an ideal candidate to trial the IATA Travel Pass,” Cerdá said.
How does the IATA Travel Pass work? Watch the briefing below for more info.
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