Airlink will be the first airline in Southern Africa to test the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass.
The contactless travel app allows passengers to create a “digital passport”, receive tests and vaccination certificates and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel. The app will also help travellers manage travel documentation during their journey.
Airlink’s flights between South Africa and Namibia will trial the pass next month. Travellers on these flights can download the Iata Travel Pass app from the Apple Store or Google Play. They also need to carry a printed copy of their negative PCR test.
Airlink revealed that travellers using the pass can confirm pre-departure and know whether they meet the Covid-19 test requirements for travel with Airlink on flights between South Africa and Namibia.
Airlink chief executive and managing director Rodger Foster said the airline was proud to collaborate with Iata on the initiative.
“The adoption of secure, digital health solutions, such as Iata Travel Pass for verifying Covid-19 test and vaccination certificates as well as pertinent entry requirements, is urgently required to eliminate the uncertainty that currently deters international air travel and by extension, business, trade, tourism, and the creation of desperately-needed jobs throughout Southern Africa,” he said.
Nick Careen, the senior vice president of operations, safety and security at Iata, said the trial will promote the safe restoration of international air travel within Southern Africa and between the regions.
“Our collaboration with Airlink and the South African and Namibian authorities demonstrates a shared commitment to provide a digital solution for passengers to manage their health requirements for travel.
“Through Iata Travel Pass trials, we aim to demonstrate how digital solutions can effectively manage both Covid-19 vaccine and test certificates and set an example for other governments in the region to follow,” Careen said.