Ethiopian Airlines has become the first African airline to conduct a flight using the IATA Travel Pass app to manage passenger health and personal data. The trial will be conducted on flights out of Addis Ababa to Washington DC and Toronto as well as on flights out of London and Toronto to Addis Ababa, effective 25 April 2021.

Ethiopian has gone digital in all of its operations to avoid physical contact and combat the spread of the pandemic and now, embarks on this initiative which will allow passengers to relish unparalleled flight experience.

Regarding the trial of the IATA travel pass, Mr. Tewolde GebreMariam, Group CEO of Ethiopian Airlines said, “Digital technology is vital to solve many of the problems that arise from the pandemic. We are glad that we are offering new digital opportunities to our passengers so as to fully and safely restart air travel. Our customers will enjoy efficient, contactless and safer travel experience with their travel pass digital passport. As a safety first airline, we have become the first African airline to trial IATA’s travel pass initiative to facilitate travel. The new initiative will increase travellers’ confidence in travel, encourages governments to reopen their borders and expedites industry restart.’’

Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security said, “Ethiopian Airlines is once again showing its leadership position in Africa becoming the first carrier to implement a live trial of IATA Travel Pass. The trial will help build confidence among governments and travelers that digital health apps can safely, securely and conveniently help restart aviation. The app gives travelers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel. And for governments complete assurance in the identity of the passenger and the authenticity of the travel credentials being presented. We urge Governments in Africa to accelerate the acceptance of digital health credentials for travel across the continent.”

IATA travel pass is a mobile app that can be used by passengers to obtain and store their COVID-19 test results from accredited laboratories. Passengers will be able to share their pre-departure COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test results with their airline during check-in and on-arrival at the immigration checkpoints at Addis Ababa’s Bole International Airport.

IATA echoes that the Travel Pass will help create a digital passport, receive test and vaccination certificates and verify that they are sufficient for their route, and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel. The digital travel app will also avoid fraudulent documentation and make air travel more convenient.

Contactless technology is re-defining passenger experiences at an increasing number of airports across the world after the 21st century’s second pandemic turned the world of travel upside down and rapidly accelerated the pace of biometric deployment.

Are Vaccines passport a good idea? What are your thoughts

PHOTO via @Airbus. By A. Doumenjou

By Victor Shalton Odhiambo

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