Qantas will use a smartphone app developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to verify whether passengers have been vaccinated against - or tested negative to -Covid-19 before they travel overseas.
The airline on Thursday confirmed it had opted to roll out the ‘Travel Pass’ app instead of the ‘CommonPass’ app when regular international travel resumes after four months of testing on repatriation flights.
IATA Travel Pass will give both Qantas and Jetstar passengers a “convenient and secure method to verify Covid test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff," Qantas said.
Passengers will use the app to create a digital passport linked to their e-passport, receive test results from certified labs and display their vaccine certificate to meet emerging international travel requirements.
The Australian government earlier this month said it would need to “establish digital vaccination authentication at international borders” before reducing quarantine arrangements for returning travellers.
Other countries like the United States, United Kingdom and Canada similarly now require that passengers produce proof of vaccine or a negative test result in order to enter without undergoing quarantine.
Qantas chief customer officer Stephanie Tully said the digital health pass was a key to reintroducing regular international flights and would “ultimately enable the opening of more travel bubbles and borders”.
“The IATA Travel Pass will allow travellers to have their Covid test results and vaccine information verified securely, which will be their green light to fly internationally with us,” she said in a statement.
Qantas is currently working closely with the association on the digital health pass, with “final development work” now underway to ensure it is ready for use when Qantas and Jetstar resume international flights.
The airline had previously hoped to resume regular intentional flights in October, though due to low vaccination rates and ongoing lockdowns it is now widely accepted that flights will not resume until 2022.
IATA operations, safety and security senior vice president Nick Careen said the association was “delighted that the Qantas Group has decided to progress plans to use IATA Travel Pass” to showcase the vaccine and testing status of passengers.
“IATA Travel Pass delivers an advantage over other solutions in that the app enables travellers to create a digital ID derived from a government-issued document such as a passport,” he said.