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Can IATA's travel pass make travelling safe?

With six more airlines implementing IATA travel pass it seems like travel and tourism will get its mojo back

Can IATA’s travel pass make travelling safe?
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Can IATA’s travel pass make travelling safe?

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After months of testing, IATA travel pass is now entering the operational phase. The app offers a safe and secure way for travellers to check the requirements for their journey, receive test results and scan their vaccine certificates, verify that these meet the destination and transit requirements and share these effortlessly with health officials and airlines prior to departure

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) announced that Etihad Airways, Jazeera Airways, Jetstar, Qantas, Qatar Airways and Royal Jordanian, will implement IATA travel pass in a phased rollout across the airlines' networks. These five airlines join Emirates Airline as IATA travel pass implementation pioneers.

The announcement, made on the sidelines of the 77th IATA annual general meeting being held in Boston, follows eleven months of extensive testing by 76 airlines. "After months of testing, IATA travel pass is now entering the operational phase. The app has proven itself to be an effective tool to manage the complex mess of travel health credentials that governments require. And it's a great vote of confidence that some of the world's best known airline brands will be making it available to their customers over the coming months," said Willie Walsh, IATA's Director General.

The app offers a safe and secure way for travellers to check the requirements for their journey, receive test results and scan their vaccine certificates, verify that these meet the destination and transit requirements and share these effortlessly with health officials and airlines prior to departure. This will avoid queuing and congestion for document checks - to the benefit of travellers, airlines, airports and governments.

IATA travel pass is a mobile app that can receive and verify a range of Covid-19 test results and digital vaccines certificates. Currently vaccine certificates from 52 countries (representing the source of 56 per cent of global air travel) can be managed using the app. This will increase to 74 countries, representing 85 per cent of global traffic, by the end of November.

IATA travel pass is expected to play a key role in the aviation industry's recovery from the impact of Covid-19. A digitalized solution to manage the paperwork of Covid-19 travel health credentials will support a return to travel when borders reopen. With many governments relying on airlines for Covid-19 document checking this will be critical in avoiding queues and congestion at check-in as travel ramps up.

Travelling more is likely to have a tremendous impact on your mental well-being, especially if you're no used to going out of your comfort zone. Travel is not a bad option - it is the most natural way of inducing the feeling you miss someone or that you are missed. The trick is to leave with a bit of preparation to avoid making a mistake during your journey. Plus, if you're flying, you better start thinking about booking your tickets sooner than later.

You might run into challenging situations where you need to be resourceful and think differently. I'm sure that you will develop a new set of skills that you didn't suspect you had within you. Why we travel may differ from one person to another, but people travelling always develop empathy and a deeper understanding of other cultures.

Being more understanding and tolerant about a culture different than ours is part of being smarter, but I consider it as a benefit of travelling in itself. As you travel, you discover the real thing, and discover that it's usually very different from what you're used to.

Eating local food in a new country is an entirely new experience. All the flavours are different. Here me out: I'm French and I love our local recipes. You do too. But let's not kid ourselves: some change would be more than welcome in our daily diet. If only because we're naturally curious.

Despite the fact that the world has never been as well connected as today, there are still places that are little known to the average tourist. Setting up a list of places you want to visit is extremely motivating. You have something tangible to go after. Adventures require novelty, so get out of your comfort zone. It might be scary, but in retrospect, you'll see it as the best decision you ever made!

Some connections you make over your travels are surprisingly strong. No matter how insignificant it may seem, the fact that you've had an experience abroad, something that was out of the ordinary, creates a memory that you will remember for a long time.

"The magic thing about home is that it feels good to leave, and it feels even better to come back". As you travel, you realize that the world is a much better place than what you can see on TV when watching the news.

Sydelle Fernandes
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