Iberia Goes Live With IATA Travel Pass On A Flight To Uruguay

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IATA has tried to develop a solution to streamline the Covid-19 test and vaccine documentation authentication by launching a Travel Pass that Singapore started to accept yesterday (read more here).

Iberia has now implemented the service on its flights to Uruguay that will accept it as proof. Two laboratories in Madrid can provide the test and upload the results to the IATA’s Travel Pass.

Here’s the announcement from Iberia:

Iberia becomes first airline to go live with IATA Travel Pass in Europe-Latin America routes

  • Uruguay is the country chosen for launching this application and Iberia customers flying to Montevideo will be the first to try it out.
  • IATA Travel Pass is a smartphone application that helps passengers to store, manage, and verify their Covid-19 test results, and soon vaccination certificates.
  • At the airport, they will enjoy a simpler and safer travel experience when they show the IATA Travel Pass, without any physical contact, and with the certainty that are in compliance with the health requisites of their country of destination.
  • Quironprevención with Recoletas Red Hospitalaria and the Health area of ARQUIMEA are the laboratories taking part in the IATA Travel Pass trial being conducted by Iberia.

Iberia is working with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) on the development of the digital health passport known as the IATA Travel Pass, and it will be the first airline to launch  it in Europe-Latin America routes, specifically in Uruguay, on its Madrid-Montevideo flights.

The IATA Travel Pass provides a consistent, predictable, and safe framework on a global basis with the dual aims of simplifying the travel experience and encouraging people to fly, while also streamlining the process of verifying the requisite health documents.

The new IATA Travel Pass is a smartphone app where the traveller can store, manage, and verify the health documents required by the different countries, specifically certificates of Covid-19 test results, and soon vaccination certificates as well.

Passengers flying from Madrid to Montevideo on IB6011 next Saturday 10 April will be the first to test this new app. Iberia has sent them all an email message to invite them to obtain the IATA Travel Pass by following these instructions on the iberia.com website:

1. Fill out a registration form.

2. Wait for a personalised invitation from IATA to create an account on the app and link it to your passport.

3. Make an appointment for a Covid-19 test at any of the test centres listed.

4. Await the results of the test, which IATA will verify and ensure it meets the document requirements of the country of destination.

5. At the airport the traveller needs only to show IATA Travel Pass message ‘OK to Travel’, which will provide a contactless and seamless experience.  Passengers must supply all other required travel documents (passport, visa…).

Learn more about the IATA Travel Pass at: https://www.iata.org/en/pressroom/travel-pass-mediakit/

Iberia’s Customers, Transformation, and Systems Director Gabriel Perdiguero commented: “With safety our key consideration, we are counting on technology to reopen borders, encourage travel, and return to normal as quickly as possible. We are certain that the digital health passport will play a key role in this endeavour, and is the right path to facilitate the movement of people giving customers a simpler, faster, and more contactless airport experience.

“We want to accompany our customers in the digital transformation Iberia is experiencing, giving them new channels for interaction alongside traditional ones, and providing all possible support from the moment of booking to the end of their journey.

“To reopen our industry and travel in general calls for a great effort by all the players, ensuring interoperability, building secure platforms, and using the most advanced technology”.

Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security said: “Restarting aviation safely is critical to support the thousands of people that work in aviation and its related industries. Through its trial of IATA Travel Pass Iberia is helping to lay the foundation for a re-connected world in which health credentials will play a key role. And in the longer-term the digital identity elements of the IATA Travel Pass will place Iberia’s passengers at the front of the queue for an even more convenient contactless travel experience.”

Quironprevención joins Iberia’s IATA Travel Pass trial

To facilitate Covid-19 tests for its customers under special conditions, in May, 2020, Iberia signed an agreement with leading Spanish health care provider  Quironprevención, which to date has carried out more than 20,000 Covid tests in Spain, and other countries as Argentina, Mexico City, Peru, Portugal and the United Kingdom.

Quironprevención is now an official provider of Covid tests for the IATA Travel Pass trial launched by Iberia.

Other official test providers include Recoletas Red Hospitalaria and the Health area of ARQUIMEA, both of which administer the tests at Iberia’s T4 hub in the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport.

All these companies give both PCR and antigen tests.

What does the IATA Travel Pass cover?

Complicated and continually changing Covid-19 restrictions for travellers have been a disincentive to travel, but technology can play a key role in restoring safe travel, facilitating personal mobility and reopening air travel.

The IATA Travel Pass is a global solution with several functionalities:

  • It maintains an up-to-date worldwide registry of national health requirements for travellers, including certified Covid-19 tests.
  • It provides a list of approved laboratories and testing centres where travellers can book their Covid-19 tests.
  • It certifies test results and vaccinations as securely shared by participating testing and vaccination centres.
  • It provides a free smartphone app for airline passengers which carries certified digital copies of Covid test results or vaccination certificates, in order to share it at the airport, for a faster and contactless airport experience.

Here’s IATA Travel Pass Fact Sheet

Download (PDF, 103KB)

Travel Pass Presentation

Download (PDF, 454KB)

Some interesting graphics

Conclusion

The IATA Travel Pass issue is that it must be accepted by a significant number of laboratories, countries, and airlines to work.

If there are no accepted laboratories to upload the results or the airline, transit, or destination countries don’t accept it, Travel Pass is entirely useless.

Some may also feel uncomfortable having all this information in electronic form, and what happens if you lose your phone or it runs out of battery during your trip?

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