National flag carrier Vietnam Airlines will work in co-ordination with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to launch a pilot scheme for the digital health app IATA Travel Pass, with the project set to get underway on June 1.
This will see Vietnam Airlines become the first local airline to sign an agreement with IATA to pilot this application, which is considered to be key to opening up international borders, facilitating the travel of passengers between countries, and meeting all entry requirements of authorities and governments.
IATA has therefore pledged to support and closely co-ordinate efforts with Vietnam Airlines throughout the trial period.
Furthermore, the IATA Travel Pass can serve as a mobile app that allows travelers to store and manage certifications for novel coronavirus (COVID-19) tests or vaccines. The app will be available for download in iOS and Android stores.
The information provided by the IATA Travel Pass can be used by governments who require testing or vaccination proof as a condition of international travel both during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. The app will be a highly secure means of managing health requirements and will be far more efficient compared to paper processes.
According to Le Hong Ha, general director of Vietnam Airlines, promoting digital transformation through an electronic health passport solution such as the IATA Travel Pass will serve to quickly restore normal service for international travel.
Nick Careen, senior vice president of IATA, stressed that the launch of an electronic health passport marks a key event in solving challenges relating to international travel during the pandemic. In addition, the IATA Travel Pass holds the key for restarting international aviation activities.
Moving forward, the IATA Travel Pass is being piloted by more than 30 airlines globally, including five-star airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Qatar Airways, whilst three countries have officially allowed the use of the app for travelers upon entry.
The app is anticipated to become a global trend as it can help countries be more confident to ease travel restrictions, thereby boosting the rebound of the aviation industry.
The Civil Aviation Administration of Vietnam has also suggested that the Ministry of Transport propose to authorised agencies responsible for implementing the scheme to speed up efforts to allow the reopening of regular international flights to the nation.