Qantas has begun trialling a smartphone app that verifies whether passengers have tested negative to – or been vaccinated against – Covid before they fly internationally.
The airline conducted its first customer trial of the ‘CommonPass’ app on an international repatriation flight from Frankfurt to Darwin this week after testing it with crew last month.
CommonPass is one of several apps that have been developed to offer passengers a secure way to verify Covid test results, vaccinations and health declarations to government officials or airlines staff.
Qantas is also continuing to assess another app developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which a number of other airlines, including Air New Zealand, are trialling.
Both apps provide a platform for certified testing labs to send results to passengers, so that they can meet travel requirements for Covid tests or vaccines before travel.
The airline has previously said that vaccinations will be a mandatory requirement for international travel, which it hopes to resume on a regular basis from late October.
Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said digital health passes will help the safe resumption of international travel when borders reopen.
“We want to get our international flights back in the air and our people back to work and a digital health pass will be a key part of that,” she said in a statement.
“Covid test results and proof of vaccine will be required in many countries for quarantine-free travel, just as it has been for polio and yellow fever vaccinations in the past.”
While the app will be limited to international repatriation flights, Tully said the airline would eventually look to integrate the functionality into its app.
“Longer term we’d like to integrate the technology with our existing Qantas app so that our customers can manage all parts of their journey in the one place,” she said.
“Ultimately we’re focused on ensuring that the process will be as seamless as possible for our customers to share this information so they can travel internationally again.”
Qantas also said it was “working on solutions for customer to elect to have [vaccination certificates] integrated with their clearance to travel”.