The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has partnered with the government of the Republic of Panama and Copa Airlines to test IATA Travel Pass, a mobile application that helps passengers easily and securely manage their travel in accordance with government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccine information.
Panama will be the first government to participate in an IATA Travel Pass test and Copa Airlines the first airline in the Americas.
Using the IATA Travel Pass, Copa Airlines passengers will be able to create a “digital passport”. This will allow passengers to check their travel itineraries against their destination’s COVID-19 health requirements and validate that they meet them. The initial test phase is expected to begin in March on selected flights from Copa’s Hub of the Americas in Panama City.
“Copa Airlines is proud to be a pioneer in the implementation of the IATA Travel Pass, working in partnership with IATA and the government of Panama. The IATA Travel Pass will simplify and improve compliance with sanitary requirements for our passengers. An international standard solution for digital health passports such as the IATA Travel Pass is key to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, which is a major contributor to the economy of Panama and Latin America,” said Dan Gunn, Copa’s Senior Vice President of Operations.
“The IATA Travel Pass is gaining momentum. This test, the first in the Americas, will provide valuable input and feedback to improve the Travel Pass program. This is an important step in enabling international travel during the pandemic, giving people the confidence that they are complying with all COVID-19 entry requirements by governments. We are proud to work with Copa Airlines and the government of Panama on this vital test,” said Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President, Airports, Passengers, Cargo and Security.
“Aviation is the backbone of many economies in the Americas. And it has essentially ground to a halt during the crisis, resulting in huge job losses across the region. The IATA Travel Pass will help give governments confidence that passengers have complied with health requirements, allowing aviation to reconnect the region’s economies to each other and to the world. Given Copa Airlines’ extensive network in the region and Panama’s strategic geographic position, they make an ideal combination for testing the IATA Travel Pass,” said Peter Cerdá, IATA Regional Vice President for the Americas.
In addition to checking travel requirements, the IATA Travel Pass will also include a registry of testing and, eventually, vaccination centers, making it more convenient for passengers to find testing centers and laboratories at their place of departure that meet the testing standards and vaccination requirements of their destination.
The platform will also enable authorized laboratories and testing centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. The global registry, managed by IATA, will facilitate and enable the secure flow of necessary information between all stakeholders and provide a seamless experience for passengers.