Qantas and Jetstar have confirmed they will work with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to roll out a digital health pass when regular international flights resume.
The decision to proceed with the IATA-backed concept follows trials of several digital solutions on Qantas’ international repatriation flights in recent months.
According to a joint statement by the airlines, who are both part of the Qantas Group, the IATA Travel Pass app offers a secure way for to verify Covid test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff.
Passengers are connected to certified testing labs
The app connects passengers to certified testing labs so that results can be uploaded to the platform and they can show they have a vaccine certificate and/or proof of a negative test result before a flight.
“Importantly, the IATA Travel Pass matches a customer’s health information against a specific flight, checks the entry requirements for the country they are travelling to, and provides clearance to travel on that flight, to both the customer and airline,” Qantas and Jetstar explained in their statement.
Many countries serviced by the two airlines – including the UK, Canada and the US – have announced requirements of either a proof of vaccine or a negative Covid test result to enter without quarantine.
IATA’s Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security, Nick Careen, said the Travel Pass delivered an advantage over other solutions in that it enabled travellers to create a digital ID derived from a government-issued document such as a passport.
Airlines and governments need confidence in results
“This means that airlines and governments can have full confidence in the test/vaccine results both from a content and identity perspective.
“Being able to validate the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas is critical to enable Australia’s four-phase national Covid-response plan announced earlier this month.”
When it began developing its Travel Pass, IATA – which represents almost 300 airlines around the world – said that in order to reopen borders without quarantine and restart aviation, governments needed to be confident that they are effectively mitigating the risk of importing Covid-19. This meant having accurate information on passengers’ Covid-19 health status easily available.
“Informing passengers on what tests, vaccines and other measures they require prior to travel, details on where they can get tested, and giving them the ability to share their tests and vaccination results in a verifiable, safe and privacy-protecting manner is the key to giving governments the confidence to open borders,” the Canadian-based organisation said.