Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) has partnered with IATA to offer a digital health passport to boost the Covid recovery effort
The digital passport – called IATA Travel Pass – will enable passengers to upload and share test and vaccine data on their mobile phone to ensure governmental health requirements are fulfilled at both ends of the journey.
The carrier will trial the IATA Travel Pass on the Kuala Lumpur-Jeddah route from 19 April.
Passengers flying on Saudia will be able to visit a laboratory in Malaysia to complete a PCR test. The result can then be uploaded to their phone.
If successful, the IATA Travel Pass will then be rolled out across the airline’s network following the trial, although it’s not clear how long the trial will be.
Chief Commercial Officer, Khalid Albassam, said: “[Saudia] is keen to partner with IATA in this innovative digital solution, which will assist in steering industry recovery and facilitating the travel process for all stakeholders, the passenger, the airline, the testing labs and the border authorities.
“Saudia continues to lead the way in safety measures and ease of travel with electronic solutions and the IATA Travel Pass partnership is another reinforcement that readiness and usage of contactless methods is the way forward for travel journeys,” added Albassam.
Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for airport, passenger, cargo and security, said: “This is the first step in making regional and international travel during the pandemic as convenient as possible, giving people the confidence that they are meeting Covid-19 government health requirements.
“IATA Travel Pass holds the key to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, which is an important contributor to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economy.”