Lufthansa Group and Star Alliance member, Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS), will be trialing the IATA Travel Pass – an app-based digital health passport. This undertaking will make it the first airline in the Lufthansa Group to do so and will be tested with the carrier’s Zurich-London Heathrow service at the end of this month.
“Digital health documents like the IATA Travel Pass are making an invaluable contribution to reconciling the demand for mobility with the need for health protection, to make it easier for our customers to plan their journeys with confidence and to restore the trust in travel as a whole.” -Dieter Vranckx, SWISS CEO
Travel during this crisis made easier
The airline hopes that travel during this global health crisis will be made easier with tools like the IATA Travel Pass app, which will enable travelers to check up on the latest coronavirus-related entry provisions for their country of destination.
The app will also allow passengers to have their COVID-19 test results sent directly to the app, thus making it easier for them to show these results to airlines and authorities. “The new app should also bring greater speed and efficiency to the corresponding airport procedures,” the airline boasts.
Privacy and data management have been increasing concerns at a time when airlines and other companies are experiencing data breaches and cyberattacks. With this in mind, the IATA Travel Pass is said to meet “the strictest data protection requirements.” In fact, all the user’s health details remain on the app and are not centrally stored.
Nonetheless, there will be those who don’t use smartphones or still have a distrust of these digital systems and would prefer not to use the app. Those travelers can rest assured that the use of the IATA Travel Pass app and these digital document checks is optional. “SWISS travelers are informed of all such options that are available to them in good time in advance of their planned travel,” the airline notes in a statement.
Other SWISS endeavors
The IATA Travel Pass is not the only digital health passport being considered by SWISS. The airline is also evaluating the use of the EU Green Pass and the CommonPass.
The airline has been conducting trials with uploading COVID test results directly to its website up to 12 hours before the flight. This was tested in mid-March on the carrier’s Newark (USA)-Zurich route and since the beginning of April on Zurich to Spain and Portugal services. For this method, SWISS notes the current trials should be extended to further SWISS routes as well.
The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) recently announced that it would accept the IATA Travel Pass from all arriving passengers. Meanwhile, Emirates is trialing the app on its Dubai to Barcelona service as well as one-way, from London Heathrow to Dubai. In March, airBaltic announced it would run a three-week trial of the app for two routes out of its Riga hub: Oslo and Amsterdam.