Singapore Airlines Becomes First Airline to Pilot COVID-19 Travel Pass App

by Charlotte Barcham
Singapore Airlines

Singapore Airlines (SIA) will be the world’s first airline to pilot the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) travel pass app. Passengers travelling from Singapore to London from 15 to 28 March will be the first in line to use the highly anticipated digital app set to change the future of flying.

What is the Travel Pass App?

The IATA have been working on the app since last year and it has been trialled by a number of airlines including Etihad, Qatar and RwandAir. It has been designed to digitally share verified testing or vaccination proof permitting passengers to fly amid the worldwide pandemic. 

The Digital Health App Trialled by Etihad

The Digital Health App Was Trialled by Etihad © Etihad

Using the app, passengers will be able to view their COVID-19 test results as well as their confirmation status to fly which is also aiming to create a faster check-in process.

Mr. Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, and Security said: “Our partnership with Singapore Airlines for the first full deployment of the IATA Travel Pass will help get the world flying again. In the immediate term, it is the solution for travellers to safely and securely manage their travel health credentials.”

Control Over Personal Data

Customers with mobile phones running on Apple’s iOS operating system will be invited to download the IATA Travel Pass app, and create a digital ID comprising their profile photo and passport information prior to flying.

It has been stressed that participants will have full control over how their personal information is shared whilst using the app. The data is stored locally in the mobile phone and not in any central database which is critical given the highly sensitive nature of health data.

If successful, the pilot will pave the way for the integration of the entire digital health verification process into the SingaporeAir mobile app from around mid-2021.

SIA’s successful first phase in 2020

SIA trialled the first phase of its digital health verification process, in December 2020. This allowed customers to easily and securely manage their travel.

Singapore Airlines will pilot the travel pass app

Singapore’s Flag Carrier will pilot the app in a few weeks © Singapore Airlines

The trial has since recorded more than 200 successful health certificate verifications by SIA check-in staff, with no fraudulent certificates detected.

Ms JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines, said: “The first phase of the trials helped to support SIA’s drive towards a secure and convenient industry standard for the verification of Covid-19 test results, and the health status of passengers including their vaccination status, in the future.”

Whilst Singapore Airlines is the first to pilot the app, many airlines seem to be eager to roll it out as soon as they can. As the vaccination programme continues globally and international travel set to restart in the coming months, the travel pass app looks like it will play a huge role in the future of safe travel. But what do you think about the app? Will you be happy having to use it? Let us know below. 

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