Gulf Air begins IATA travel pass trial on London, Athens and Singapore flights
TDT | Manama
The Daily Tribune – www.newsofbahrain.com
The International Air Transport Association is partnering with Bahrain and Gulf Air, the national carrier of Bahrain, for the trial of the IATA Travel Pass, which helps passengers “easily and securely” manage their travel in line with any government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccine information.
The trial began yesterday on Gulf Air flights from Bahrain to London, Athens and Singapore. Passengers holding a biometric passport and flying to these destinations will be able to trial the app.
The system allows Gulf Air passengers to create a ‘digital passport’ to match their travel itineraries with the COVID-19 health requirements of their destination country and validate compliance. Bahrain is one of the first governments to participate in the trial to help re-establish global connectivity while managing the risks of COVID-19.
IATA has authorised American Mission Hospital, Bahrain Specialist Hospital, Royal Bahrain Hospital and Royal Hospital for Woman and Children to send the test results to passengers via the app.
The IATA Travel Pass app will have an integrated registry of travel requirements to enable passengers to find accurate information on travel and entry requirements for all destinations regardless of their itinerary.
Eventually, it will also include a registry of labs — making it more convenient for passengers to find testing centres and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination. Captain Waleed AlAlawi, the Acting Chief Executive Officer, said: “Gulf Air is proud to partner with IATA as one of the first airlines in the world to commence the trials, and we look forward to initiating it on three routes starting from today.” Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security, said: “Managing multiple pieces of paper for COVID-19 health requirements for travel is inconvenient for passengers, unmanageable for airlines and airports and overwhelming for border authorities.
The deal is an important step in enabling international travel during the pandemic, giving people the confidence that they are meeting all COVID-19 entry requirements.” Passengers flying directly from Bahrain to London, Athens and Singapore will receive instructions on how to sign up to be part of the trial. Economy class passengers will receive access to the Gulf Air Falcon Gold check-in area and Falcon Gold Lounge at Bahrain International Airport. Passengers in the Falcon Gold cabin will receive free WiFi on board as a token of appreciation for their participation.
Gulf Air, one of the few airlines that never stopped flying in 2020, said it is closely working with authorities across its network to resume operations as demand for travel grows.