Copa Airlines has announced that it will become the first airline in the Americas to trial the IATA Travel Pass, in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Republic of Panama.
Using IATA Travel Pass, Copa Airlines passengers will be able to create a ‘digital passport’, which will allow them to match their travel itineraries with the COVID-19 health requirements of their destination and validate that they are in compliance with these.
The initial trial phase is expected to begin in March on select flights from Copa’s Hub of the Americas in Panama City.
“At Copa Airlines we are proud to be pioneers in the implementation of IATA Travel Pass, working together with IATA and the government of Panama,” stated Dan Gunn, Copa’s Senior Vice President for Operations. “The IATA Travel Pass will simplify and enhance compliance with health requirements for our passengers. An international standard solution for digital health passports such as IATA Travel Pass holds the key to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, which is an important contributor to Panama’s and Latin America’s economy.”
Ivan Eskildsen, Administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority, also said: “The Government of Panama supports the implementation of this important tool developed by IATA that, through its integration with different stakeholders, will allow passengers to comply with our health requirements, thus restoring confidence in travel and tourism, important pillars for the country’s economic recovery.”
In addition to checking travel requirements, IATA Travel Pass will also include a registry of testing and eventually vaccination centres – 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.
The platform will also enable authorised labs and test centres to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. This will manage and allow the secure flow of necessary information amongst all stakeholders and to provide a seamless passenger experience.
A number of airlines around the world have announced trials of the solution including Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Etihad, Emirates and Qatar.