Travel Pass For International Passengers: In an effort to provide easy air travel at this time of coronavirus pandemic, global airlines’ body International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Tuesday said that it is planning to launch travel pass by the end of March. Issuing a statement, the IATA said that it is also in talks with Indian authorities and carriers for using the pass in India. The IATA said it has around 290 airlines as members, including Air India, Vistara, IndiGo and SpiceJet.Also Read - AirAsia India Offers 50% Discount On Excess Baggage Fee For Passengers Taking Connecting International Flights
According to updates, the IATA Travel Pass will be a mobile app to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 tests or vaccines. Moreover, the IATA said that there is a need to have a global and standardised solution to validate and authenticate all country regulations regarding COVID-19 passenger travel requirements. Also Read - Several Domestic, International Flights at IGI Airport Diverted Due to Rain, Hailstorm in Delhi
Speaking to PTI, IATA Regional Director for Airports and External Relations (Asia Pacific) Vinoop Goel said that the pass will move existing paper processes to a digital platform and joins it with up-to-date information on entry requirements. However, this will also make the process more convenient and help avoid fraudulent documentation. Also Read - Delhi Airport Was World's Second Busiest in March, Ahead of Dubai. Which Was First?
“There will be paper-based alternatives for people who do not have mobile phones, albeit less convenient ones. IATA is already managing health requirements through its Timatic solution, so IATA Travel Pass is a natural evolution to support the industry during the pandemic,” he noted.
He also said that the first cross-border pilot project for the travel pass was announced at the end of 2020. The iOS and Android launch is slated for the end of March 2021 and the IATA is working as fast as we can with airlines to bring it to market, Goel said.
The development comes as the restrictions on cross-border movement of people are in place in various countries keeping the rising cases of coronavirus in mind. Moreover, strict requirements such as carrying COVID-negative certificates for overseas travellers are also put in place.
Giving further details, IATA Regional Director said that the IATA Travel Pass is a fully digital solution that can be quickly rolled out and can cater to a huge aviation market like India. “Also, given the prevalence of e-solutions in normal Indian day-to-say activities, the Indian population is well versed with such mobile solutions and we are confident that they will be quick to adopt the IATA Travel Pass,” he said.
India has suspended scheduled commercial international flight operations from March 23 last year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Last week, the suspension has been extended till March 31.