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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

Airlink has today 21, April, unveiled its new FlyAirlink App that will make it easier for its customers to book flights, update personal travel needs, review flight status and speak to their dedicated customer service teams.

The app is compatible with IOS and Android devices and can be downloaded from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

“This intuitive and easy-to-use new App is designed for ease of convenience and efficiency.  We want to make the entire process simple and effortless for our customers to plan their travel, book their flights, check-in and store their digital boarding pass, and monitor the status of their flights or of a flight they may have interest in.” said Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster.

The FlyAirlink app allows customers to:

  • Search and book domestic and regional flights on the go.
  • Manage their travel preferences and payment methods from anywhere.
  • Check in and download digital boarding passes.
  • Monitor flight status and receive real-time flight update notifications.
  • Retrieve details from past trips

Meanwhile, Airlink continues to strengthen its route network adding flights between Johannesburg and Livingstone that is aimed at strengthening connections between South Africa and Zambia with the flights going for sale beginning May, 26.

Airlink will also resume services between Nelspruit and Livingstone from May 1, enabling travellers to visit the Victoria Falls as well as the Kruger Park also connecting on to Airlink’s South African destinations such as Cape Town and Durban.

There is pent-up demand among local and international travellers to visit our region, which is home to some of the world’s most spectacular sights and destinations. With Covid-19 vaccination programmes ramping up in some of our traditional markets, we are seeing the first signs of light after a devastating 2020. Our Livingstone flights together with our recently-launched mainline South African domestic services put some of the region’s key tourist destinations within easy and convenient reach,” explained Airlink CEO and managing director, Rodger Foster.

By Victor Shalton Odhiambo