The Spanish airline Iberia will become the first carrier to go live with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass between Europe and Latin American routes. Additionally, Iberia is the second operator to announce the use of the digital health passport in Latin America after Copa Airlines in Panama.
Iberia will trial IATA’s Travel Pass on a flight between Madrid and Montevideo, Uruguay. Photo: Iberia
What do we know?
Today, Iberia issued a statement announcing its work with IATA on the development of the Travel Pass. The Spanish carrier will launch the digital health passport on its April 10 flight between Madrid and Montevideo, Uruguay.
“Passengers flying from Madrid to Montevideo on IB6011 next Saturday, 10 April, will be the first to test this new app. Iberia has sent them all an email message to invite them to obtain the IATA Travel Pass.”
Iberia’s passengers will have to follow five instructions on the airlines’ website.
First, they have to fill out a registration form; then wait for a personalized invitation from IATA to create an account on the app and link it to their passport.
The third step is to make an appointment for a COVID-19 test at any of the test centers listed. Then, await the results, which IATA will verify and ensure it meets Uruguay’s document requirements.
Finally, at the airport, the traveler will only show IATA’s Travel Pass message ‘OK to Travel’ and be ready to fly.
Iberia will be the first airline to trial the Travel Pass between Europe and Latin America. Photo: Iberia
The IATA Travel Pass in Latin America
So far, 24 airlines worldwide are trialing the IATA Travel Pass. Some countries have even approved the use of IATA’s health passport, starting in May, like Singapore.
Meanwhile, many countries and airlines are also looking at other options. For instance, the Biden administration is developing guidelines for a vaccine passport in the US, and so is the European Union. Airlines such as British Airways are using the VeriFLY App.
Latin America, though, remains without health passports. Only one Latin American carrier has signed to use IATA’s Travel Pass, which is Copa Airlines.
While Copa announced it would partner with IATA to trial the health passport back in February, the airline hasn’t made any further announcement. We contacted Copa for a status on the program, but we haven’t received an answer.
The Health passports role in reopening borders
The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled international travel. The lack of measures consistency across the Governments worldwide has made passengers very anxious about traveling far away. Therefore, the airline industry doesn’t expect to see a real recovery in international travel until 2023 and 2024, depending on the destination, according to an economic analysis by Oliver Wyman.
But the use of the health passports, such as IATA’s, may change this upside battle. Gabriel Perdiguero, Iberia’s Customers, Transformation, and Systems Director, said,
“With safety our key consideration, we are counting on technology to reopen borders, encourage travel, and return to normal as quickly as possible. We are certain that the digital health passport will play a key role in this endeavor and is the right path to facilitate the movement of people giving customers a simpler, faster, and more contactless airport experience.”
He added that reopening the travel industry needs a great effort by all the players. Interoperability is required to build secure platforms and use the most advanced technology.
Are you willing to use IATA’s Travel Pass? Let us know in the comments.
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