Panafrican News Agency

Ethiopian Airlines agrees to pilot global aviation travel pass

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia (PANA) - Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to pilot a global vaccines travel verification pass introduced by the International Air Transport Association (AITA), according to the airline and the Association.

The IATA Travel Pass, a digital travel mobile application, which is designed to assist air passengers to manage the coronavirus vaccine requirements, is expected to enhance efficiency in testing or vaccine verifications.

The airline said the piloting of the mobile application would help to restart travel.

"As travel restarts, travelers need accurate COVID-19-related information like testing and vaccine requirements which vary among countries," the Ethiopian Airlines said in a statement.

The IATA Travel Pass initiative helps verify the authenticity of test information presented by travellers which is essential for ensuring the safety of passengers while complying with entry requirements of countries, the airline said.

In future it will also manage vaccine certificates for travel. "Ethiopian has gone digital in all of its operations to avoid physical contact and combat the spread of the pandemic and now we embark on this initiative which will allow our passengers to relish unparalleled flight experience," the airline said.

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 are going to be among the first to implement 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."

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.

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO said, “Ethiopian Airlines is helping to lay the foundation for a re-connected world in which health credentials—COVID-19 test results to vaccination certificates—will play a role.

-0- PANA AO/MA 26March2021