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Opinion

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IATA’s Travel Pass: Why this digital health passport app is a major breakthrough for air travel

The App is more secure and efficient than current paper processes used to manage health requirements such as the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, according to experts.

By Reena Abdulrahman

info@thearabianstories.com

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

The world is no longer the same, so is the air travel. The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced a new normal everywhere, and this has changed the way we travel too, as restrictions have become the order of the day. But we cannot close the international borders and curb people’s movement forever, because life must flow smoothly for the sake of our economy and survival.

It is here that IATA has introduced a path breaking-mobile application, IATA Travel Pass, to address the international air travel challenges efficiently, which could solve the travel woes of the individuals and also the countries that want to prevent the spread of the pandemic.

There is no doubt the countries have to be convinced that the risk of contracting the disease has been mitigated to reopen the borders for the airlines without quarantine. But, in the present situation, this can be done only if the accurate information on the Covid-19 health status of the passengers is available to them.

It is in this context that the IATA launched this app, which is simply the one stop shop for the passengers to verify the health requirements for their journeys. This app will inform the passengers about the tests, vaccines and requirements to ensure their smooth travel in the recent times.

If you need a test, the app would provide you with a list of the verified health centres near your point of departure from which you can choose the convenient one. Once the test is done and the result is digitally uploaded to the app, you will get an okay to travel notification if you are eligible. The backend support for this service is provided by Dematic, the industry’s most trusted source for global travel regulations, ensuring flawless functioning. It will also give you the broader picture of the requirements at your destination so that there will not be any confusion at any point of your travel.

Further, this facilitates check-in from home itself and in a way the app also functions as your digital passport, thus enabling a contactless travel, which would be quite common in the coming days. It is more secure and efficient than current paper processes used to manage health requirements such as the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, according to experts.

Recently, IATA has recommended accepting vaccinated passengers should be global best practice to reopen borders. This is a welcome suggestion because it would make the business travel as well as travel on vacation smoother, thus giving a boost to the tourism sector as well, which has been worse affected in the pandemic. If properly used, this app along with this proposal has the potential to revive the global tourism sector and it would definitely bring back the travel and tourism sector to countries like Oman to normalcy.

If you wonder if this would affect your privacy or are concerned about any data breach, IATA assures that it is absolutely secure because it will be saved only in your mobile phone and not any central database. All your data will be encrypted and saved. This way, your data is secure with you, thus ensuring its safety in all aspects. It is this safety dimension and user friendliness which makes IATA Travel Pass a secure travel solution.

So, in these uncertain times if you want to reunite with your family, or take part in an urgent business meet, this app ensures you certainty, and that makes it a unique app to sail through the tough times.

About the author: Reena Abdulrahman is the Chief Operating Officer of Alhind Travel and Tours for GCC and Africa. Reena has over 21 years of experience working with top airlines in the region.



Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of TAS and TAS does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.

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