Air Serbia Eyes IATA Health Passport Trial To Zurich

Air Serbia will start testing the International Air Transport Association’s digital passport in April. Known as the IATA Travel Pass, this mobile application will first become a feature on Air Serbia’s flights between Belgrade and Zurich.

Air Serbia A330
Air Serbia will start testing the IATA Travel Pass in April. Photo: Getty Images

Air Serbia to start testing the IATA Travel Pass

Air Serbia is launching a cooperation with the International Air Transport Association to start testing the IATA Travel Pass, a mobile application aimed at helping airlines and passengers navigate through the restrictions pertaining to COVID-19. In a statement, Air Serbia announced it is one of the first airlines in Europe to take part in this global initiative.

To begin with, Air Serbia is launching what it calls “the first stage of the trial.” This will involve a single route only, from Belgrade Nikola Tesla Airport (BEG) to Zurich Airport (ZRH). This first stage will last several weeks, and passengers will participate by invitation.

Serbia’s Torlak Institute, which deals with virology and vaccination, is involved in the project. The institute is supporting this project and will be directly linked to IATA.

Stay informed: Sign up for our daily and weekly aviation news digests!

Air Serbia
Air Serbia is among the first airlines in the world to start adopting the IATA Travel Pass. Photo: Getty Images

Air Serbia among the first in the world

Commenting on the launch of this initiative, Air Serbia’s CEO, Duncan Naysmith, said:

“We are proud to be among the first in the world to test the digital passport. Once again, we have confirmed our dedication to protecting the safety, health and well-being of passengers, as well as to creating an integrated and seamless user experience.  

“This innovative IATA solution is an extraordinary initiative, which will provide the passengers with the certainty that they meet all necessary requirements to enter different parts of the world.”

Meanwhile, IATA’s Regional Vice President for Europe, Rafael Schvartzman, said:

“We’re proud to work with Air Serbia make IATA Travel Pass available in Europe. This is the first step in making European and international travel during the pandemic as convenient as possible giving people the confidence that they are meeting all COVID-19 entry requirements by governments.

“As borders re-open, IATA Travel Pass will be further enhanced with more capabilities to meet all governments testing or vaccination verification requirements and Air Serbia’s customers will be among the first to have these services.”

Air Serbia A320
Air Serbia is cooperating with IATA and a Serbian health institute. Photo: Getty Images

So how does it work?

Passengers traveling on Air Serbia’s flights to Zurich will have the opportunity to use the IATA Travel Pass to create a digital passport. To participate in the process, the passenger needs to have been vaccinated or recently tested for COVID-19.

After either of these two take place, the national reference laboratory sends protected information into that passenger’s app. The IATA Travel Pass then checks this against the travel restrictions and health requirements needed for that passenger to be allowed to enter their destination. If all the requirements are met, the IATA Travel Pass gives the passenger the green light for travel.

What do you think of Air Serbia’s plans? Do you think the travel pass will become a prominent feature of air travel? Let us know what you think of this story in the comments below.