Ethiopian Airlines Group said it has conducted trial of IATA Travel Pass, a digital travel mobile app to enhance efficiency in testing or vaccine verifications, making it the first African airline to do so.
As travel restarts, travelers need accurate COVID-19-related information like testing and vaccine requirements which vary among countries. The IATA Travel Pass initiative helps verify the authenticity of test information presented by travelers which is essential for ensuring the safety of passengers while complying with entry requirements of countries.
According to Ethiopian Airlines, the trial would 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.
The airline said it 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.
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 trail IATA’s travel pass initiative to facilitate travel. The new initiative will increase travelers’ 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.”
Ethiopian Airlines stated 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.