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PAL sets trial run for IATA travel pass

Philippine Airlines will conduct a trial run of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) digital platform that helps passengers manage COVID-19-era health requirements
• IATA’s Travel Pass will be used on flights from Manila to Los Angeles and Singapore from May to June 2021
• PAL is the first domestic airline to test the new digital technology from IATA
• The IATA Travel Pass is a global-standard mobile application that validates and authenticates the passenger health requirements and regulations for travel of all countries
Philippine Airlines (PAL) will be the first domestic airline to test the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass, a digital platform that helps international passengers manage COVID-19-era health requirements.

IATA’s Travel Pass will be used for the flag carrier’s flights from Manila to Los Angeles and Singapore on select dates from May to June 2021, the carrier said in a statement.

“We want to make it simple for our customers to travel safely. The IATA Travel Pass will help them verify that they comply with health rules and COVID test requirements, so they can board our flights with assurance and confidence,” PAL president and chief operating officer Gilbert Santa Maria said.

“Restarting international aviation safely has been at the forefront of IATA’s Travel Pass initiative. We are proud to partner with Philippines Airlines—the first airline in the Philippines—to trial the app and demonstrate that this technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials,” said IATA senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security Nick Careen.

The IATA Travel Pass is a global-standard mobile application that validates and authenticates the passenger health requirements and regulations for travel of all countries. The digital health application will enable a passenger to create a digital ID based on the standards of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

IATA and the International Airlines Group (IAG) worked together to develop the Travel Pass to support the safe reopening of borders by helping manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travelers.

During the trial, PAL passengers will also be able to add their itinerary to the app and review the health rules and regulations of their destination, especially on the required COVID-19 testing before their departure.

The Travel Pass also enables partner and accredited COVID-19 testing centers to upload laboratory test results to the app.

One of the flag carrier’s testing partners, Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory, will be accredited by IATA during the trial to upload test results to the said app.  

Passengers can then receive verified test results and a confirmation that they meet all health requirements for the destination. Using the Travel Pass will also fast-track the airport check-in process, reduce passenger congestion at the airport, and ensure seamless onward travel, PAL noted.

The app will be available to iOS and Android users. Once downloaded, the IATA Travel Pass app allows travelers to upload their passport for digital biometrics.

PAL’s trial of the IATA Travel Pass is in line with the Department of Tourism’s (DOT) efforts to harness digital solutions for a safe reopening of Philippine tourism.

In a statement last April 7, DOT secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said once the country’s adoption of the IATA Travel Pass is put into motion, “the DOT hopes to safely reopen our tourist destinations to international visitors and revive the tourism industry as a whole … when the time is right.”

PAL joins 27 participating airlines from 25 countries in conducting trial runs for Travel Pass.

In addition to the selected Los Angeles and Singapore routes, PAL currently operates flights to other cities in the U.S., Canada, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

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