Friday,  December 4, 2020  11:32 am

A “digital health pass" to reopen borders? This is what oneworld, SkyTeam & Star Alliance propose


A “digital health pass" to reopen borders? This is what oneworld, SkyTeam & Star Alliance propose

As government-imposed travel and entry restrictions continue to greatly impact global travel demand, oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance have united.

Usually competing, the three major global air carrier alliances have joined together to ask governments to quickly adopt a standardized digital health pass and passenger screening protocols for COVID-19.

These measures, they say, could reduce the indiscriminate use of blanket quarantines, reopen borders, and allow a safe resumption of international travel.

A harmonized approach to restore confidence

The three alliances put forward that their networks, which represents 58 carriers (and generate more than 60 per cent of the global capacity) to demand a harmonized approach to screening, as recommended by the ICAO guidelines.

In fact, they state that they fully support the second phase of the Council on Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART), which the ICAO has just published (on November 10).

Part of the report calls for serious consideration of screening and testing as a means of easing travel and entry restrictions, and reviving the travel and tourism industry as well as the global economy.

“We welcome the publication of the updated CART report which, among other things, calls for the serious consideration of screening and testing as a means for easing travel and border restrictions, and reviving the travel and tourism industry and the global economy,” said Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh. “A robust protocol for testing will also provide further evidence to demonstrate that air travel is not a material cause for infections and will pave the way for a framework of trust to be established between countries.”

The safety of passengers

According to Kristin Colvile, CEO of SkyTeam, the digital health pass and screening protocols and testing are a perfect compliment to the cumulative measures put in place by airlines and airports around the world to keep people safe. passengers.

"With extensive travel restrictions creating much uncertainty for customers, testing can play a role in enabling the safe restart of travel. Any solution used in declaring passenger health data should be consistent, scalable and cost effective – this will provide clarity and confidence to customers, airlines and other stakeholders as international travel resumes," added oneworld CEO Rob Gurney.

Encouraged by recent trials of digital health passports (such as the CommonPass application ), oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance therefore expressing their support for technical solutions offering "a uniform, scalable and affordable way " to report passenger health data. 

The support of the three alliances is all the stronger since the option they advocate "fits easily into the customer journey and comes with processes launched even before departure to limit inconvenience at the airport."


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