Another airline is lining up to trial IATA’s digital travel pass, with Japan’s All Nippon Airways (ANA) roadtesting the app between May 24 and June 6 on flights between Tokyo and Honolulu and Tokyo and New York JFK.
ANA to trial IATA app on Honolulu and New York flights
ANA joins a list of other airlines around the world that have put the IATA digital travel pass through its paces in anticipation of a widespread future rollout.
“We look forward to testing IATA travel pass on two of our most popular international routes,” said Junichiro Miyagawa, Executive Vice President of ANA Alliances and International Affairs. “By leveraging the insights and customer feedback from this trial, our goal is to make international travel safer and more secure and provide more convenient options to our customers.”
With ANA running a pared-back international schedule, the app will get tested on a handful of flights. In the period, flights to Honolulu depart Tokyo Haneda on May 24, 28, 31, and June 4. Return flights from Honolulu depart May 25, 29, and June 1, and 5. There are slightly more ANA flights between Tokyo and JFK, with departures ex Tokyo on May 24, 25, 28, 29, 31, and June 1,4, and 5. Flights from New York in the period depart May 25, 26, 29, 30, and June 1, 2, 5, and 6.
On these flights, passengers will be invited to take part in the trial. ANA is offering discounts on COVID-19 tests and 1,000 Mileage Club points after completing the trial to encourage participation.
IATA and ANA see travel passes playing a key role in future international travel
Not all passengers will make the cut. Passengers will need to be aged at least 18 years, have a passport that contains an electronic chip, have a smartphone that can read the NFC (near-field communication) chip contained within their passport, and take their COVID-19 test at a specified test center.
This is not the first digital travel pass trialed at ANA. ANA has previously conducted trials for the CommonPass digital health passport in collaboration with The Commons Project.
Like other travel passes, IATA’s travel pass is a mobile application that helps travelers store and manage their verified certifications for COVID-19 tests or COVID-19 vaccines. IATA and most airlines are figuring these types of passes will play a key role in facilitating a rebound in international travel.
“The trial will help build confidence among governments and travelers that digital health apps can safely, securely, and conveniently help restart aviation,” says IATA’s Nick Careen.
“The app gives travelers a one-stop-shop to help them comply with the new rules for travel, and governments can have complete assurance in the identity of the passenger and the authenticity of the travel credentials being presented.”
ANA keen to reboot its international flying
With its global footprint and clutch of A380s, ANA has a keen interest in seeing international travel resume. In March, the airline flew just 33,786 passengers on its international sectors. In March 2019, ANA flew 875,047 passengers on its international sectors. If that doesn’t sound bad enough, average passenger loads on its international services in March 2021 were just 13.9%.
But with fleet cuts and network changes, the Tokyo-based airline is eyeing a return to profitability this financial year. The airline is pinning its hopes on several external factors aligning. This includes an improving global environment, continued vaccination rollout, and an uptick in international flying. This latter factor will be significantly aided by the widespread acceptance of digital travel passes such as that developed by IATA.