The Qantas Group has today confirmed it will join other airlines including Qatar Airways, Etihad and Emirates in working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to rollout its digital health pass when regular Qantas and Jetstar international flights resume.
Qantas said in a statement today that the decision to proceed with IATA follows trials of several digital solutions on Qantas’ international repatriation flights in recent months.
The announcement follows the Federal Government’s release of its four-phase national COVID-19 response plan earlier this month, which includes validating the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas.
Many countries where Qantas and Jetstar operate, including the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, have announced requirements of either a proof of vaccine or negative COVID test result to enter without quarantine.
“We want to get our international flights back in the air and our people back to work and a digital health pass will be a key part of that,” says Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully.
“Many Governments are already requiring proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test result for international travel. Even if it wasn’t a government requirement, Qantas has always been a leader in safety and we have a responsibility to our customers and crew,” she said.
IATA Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security, Nick Careen says of the Pass, “IATA Travel Pass delivers an advantage over other solutions in that the app enables travellers to create a digital ID derived from a government-issued document such as a passport.
“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 shots status of Australians returning from overseas is critical to enable Australia’s four-phase national COVID response plan announced earlier this month.”
“A digital health pass will connect customers with COVID testing facilities, health authorities and airlines, and ultimately enable the opening of more travel bubbles and borders.
Just last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he believes vaccine passports will be available to be carried on mobile phones by October 2021, after discussion with world leaders at last month’s G7 summit.
What is the IATA Travel Pass?
IATA says the Travel Pass offers a convenient and secure method for travellers to verify COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff.
The app connects travellers to certified testing labs so that results can be uploaded to the platform and customers can show they have a vaccine certificate and/or proof of a negative COVID test result before their flight.
Importantly, the IATA Travel Pass matches a traveller’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.
“The IATA Travel Pass will allow travellers to have their COVID test results and vaccine information verified securely, which will be their green light to fly internationally with us,” says Stephanie Tully.
“We’re working closely with IATA to develop their Travel Pass to make the process as seamless as possible for Qantas and Jetstar customers as international borders start to re-open.”
The Qantas Group including Jetstar has also announced that they will make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all international travellers when Australia’s borders reopen again.
Speaking on ABC Radio today, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce said, “Internationally we absolutely will and that’s becoming a standard around the world.”
Final development work is now underway to ensure the app is ready for use on Qantas and Jetstar international flights when they resume.
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