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Hong Kong Airlines to trial Travel Pass in support of travel recovery

Hong Kong Airlines to trial Travel Pass in support of travel recovery
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Written by Harry Johnson

Travel Pass will provide travelers with easy access to COVID-19 entry requirements for their destination and accredited testing centers at their point of departure

  • Under this trial, Hong Kong Airlines will work closely with IATA to test its Lab App, a key module in Travel Pass
  • Passengers on a selected route will be invited to participate
  • The app also enables passengers to link their COVID-19 test results to a digital version of their passport created through the app

Hong Kong Airlines will trial a digital health passport as part of the carrier’s ongoing contributions towards the safe reopening of borders and international travel. Developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a globally recognized trade organization and advocate for airlines, Travel Pass will provide travelers with easy access to COVID-19 entry requirements for their destination and accredited testing centers at their point of departure. The app also enables passengers to link their COVID-19 test results to a digital version of their passport created through the app.

Under this trial, Hong Kong Airlines will work closely with IATA to test its Lab App, a key module in Travel Pass. Passengers on a selected route will be invited to participate by first downloading the app and creating a digital profile before selecting a participating medical service provider for testing. A secure, encrypted channel will then enable the registered laboratory to verify the passenger’s identity and directly send the outcome of the COVID-19 test, or proof of vaccination to the traveller’s mobile device. This will then be checked against IATA’s global registry of COVID-19 health requirements, a system used by the majority of airlines and airports globally, to ensure regulatory requirements are complied, before the passenger receives an “OK to Travel”.

Hong Kong Airlines Director of Service Delivery Mr Chris Birt applauds the customer-oriented digital initiative from IATA, which will help both travelers and airlines manage verifiable health credentials for future travel.

“Hong Kong Airlines has been working hard to make travel safe for our customers. We welcome the opportunity to contribute our inputs into the development of Travel Pass and will continue to support IATA’s efforts in leading the recovery of international travel. Given the constantly changing environment of the current pandemic and frequent modification of border restrictions by governments, Travel Pass is undoubtedly the best go-to app for passengers to access the most updated travel information, ensure they comply with the latest entry requirements and allow
them to manage their digital health documents in a safe and secure way,” he added.

“Restarting international aviation safely has been at the forefront of IATA’s Travel Pass initiative. We are proud to partner Hong Kong Airlines to trial the app and demonstrate that this technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials,” said Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security.

Hong Kong has recently announced the easing of quarantine requirements for inbound travelers. The 14 days of mandatory quarantine at a designated hotel, followed by a week of selfmonitoring will apply to travelers arriving from low-risk places as well as those arriving from medium-risk places and have been vaccinated. The government is also in discussions with 16 countries on allowing people who have been vaccinated to travel.