The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that it will launch a Covid-19 travel pass by March, which it says will give travelers a way to display test results and confirmation they’ve received a vaccine.
The measure, dubbed the IATA Travel Pass, is aimed at providing government, airlines and travelers with a streamlined process to ensure there is “accurate information, secure identification and verified data” available to meet all relevant Covid-19 restrictions.
The IATA has outlined a timeline for the full rollout of its travel pass, with initial efforts underway at Singapore Airlines while a further 20 airlines are testing the app. More companies are set to start using it in the next few months, the organization said, and it aims to have the full pass ready to go live at the end of March.
At the same meeting, the IATA expressed concerns that the ongoing global restrictions around Covid are still hitting airlines, with its chief economist warning it will likely take longer than planned for companies to be able to stop burning cash and begin rebounding financially.
Some companies have expressed concern that the summer booking period, a popular time for the airline industry, still “remains weak,” with reservations currently only at seven percent of pre-pandemic levels. The IATA, which represents some 290 members, has urged governments to provide further financial support to prevent the crisis in the travel industry from getting worse.
The statement from the IATA comes after Europol issued a warning about criminals selling falsified Covid-19 test results to travelers, allowing them to get around the restrictions in place because of the pandemic. In January, the UK’s Immigration Service Union told Britain’s Sky News that there is no way for border officers to validate Covid-19 tests to ensure they are legitimate.