The Qantas Group today confirmed it will introduce a digital health pass for its international flights (on both Qantas and Jetstar), when they resume.
More than just a vaccine passport, it shows airline staff and health officials both your vaccine status and your COVID-19 test results from certified testing labs.
Qantas says the IATA Travel Pass “offers a convenient and secure method for customers to verify COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff.”
How does it work? The app connects passengers to a certified testing lab. Results can be uploaded to the platform, and customers can show they have a vaccine certificate and/or proof of a negative COVID test result before their flight.
“Importantly, the IATA Travel Pass matches a customer’s health information against a specific flight, checks the entry requirements for the country they are travelling to and provides clearance to travel on that flight, to both the customer and airline,” Qantas announced this morning.
The response on Twitter, so far, appears mostly positive (though some travellers still appear aggrieved over, so they claim, not managing to get onto a repatriation flight).
Shame I’m never flying Qantas again after they left me high and dry!
— A really pissed off pulpo 🐙 💉 (@chicharronatres) July 29, 2021
I am 100% pro vaccination passport – regardless of airline. Bring it on!
— Ihatenicknames (@ksyd2015) July 29, 2021
The decision follows trials of several digital solutions on Qantas’ international repatriation flights.
It also comes after the Federal Government’s release of its four-phase national COVID-19 response plan earlier this month, which includes validating the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas.
Many countries Qantas flies to, including the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States, have announced requirements of either a proof of vaccine or negative COVID test result to enter without quarantine.
Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer, Stephanie Tully, said of the initiative: “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.”
“Many Governments are already requiring proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test result for international travel. Even if it wasn’t a government requirement, Qantas has always been a leader in safety and we have a responsibility to our customers and crew.”
“A digital health pass will connect customers with COVID testing facilities, health authorities and airlines, and 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.
“We’re working closely with IATA to develop their Travel Pass to make the process as seamless as possible for Qantas and Jetstar customers as international borders start to re-open.”
IATA Senior Vice President for Operations, Safety and Security, Nick Careen, said: “A digital solution to manage and verify health credentials is essential for travel while COVID-19 remains a risk.”
“We are delighted that the Qantas Group has decided to progress plans to use IATA Travel Pass as a convenient and secure method for travellers to verify and share their COVID test results and vaccination information with border or health officials and airline staff.”
“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. This means that airlines and governments can have full confidence in the test/vaccine results both from a content and identity perspective.”
“Being able to validate the vaccination status of Australians returning from overseas is critical to enable Australia’s four-phase national COVID response plan announced earlier this month.”