In the initial phase, the app will only be available for passengers flying between Auckland and Sydney.
Following in the footsteps of Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways, and Singapore Airlines, New Zealand’s flag carrier will soon be testing out the new digital Travel Pass app developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), becoming the first Australasia-based airline to do so. This April, a trial is set to run for three weeks on the Auckland–Sydney route, with both aircrew and customers invited to take part. Air New Zealand is currently in discussions with government agencies about options for validation of testing and vaccination.
The goal is to allow travelers to manage their digital travel documentation while streamlining the health verification process in response to entry, departure testing, and paperwork requirements that have been constantly changing due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The airline hopes this will speed up the check-in process and help reassure passengers that travel is safe, giving them added confidence that all others onboard the same flight have met government health requirements.
Air New Zealand’s Chief Digital Officer Jennifer Sepull said in a statement, “Once borders reopen, travel is going to look very different, with customers’ health data needing to be verified at check-in. It’s essentially like having a digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines. This will give customers peace of mind that they meet all travel requirements for the different countries around the world before they even get to the airport.”
Seeking to allay privacy concerns, the airline says the IATA Travel Pass does not have a central database that stores personal information, which is shared at the travelers’ discretion in a safe and secure manner. Through the app, passengers can create a digital health wallet linked to their e-passport, with their testing and vaccination data sent to them by laboratories. The app then checks travel requirements against the data and gives customers who meet those requirements a green tick to travel.
More information here.