British Airways Looks At In-App Digital Health Passport

Airlines are preparing for the expected relaxation in restrictions later this spring. Ahead of the big restart of international travel, British Airways is planning for an app-based digital health pass. This update follows a previous announcement from the carrier’s parent company, IAG, which stated that such passes would help to reopen skies safely.

British Airways, China, Medical Supplies
The airline wants the restart to go right. Photo: Getty Images

Continued challenges

For a year, international travel has been largely rocked across the continents amid the global health crisis. More recently, stringent travel restrictions have remained in place in the United Kingdom for several months. Since the turn of 2021, only passengers with specific requirements have been allowed to hit the air. Subsequently, British Airways is seeing a continued downturn in passenger activity, which is set to continue until at least May 17th, when some restrictions may be relaxed.

UK prime minister Boris Johnson’s global travel taskforce is expected to share a report on April 12th about options on resuming international travel for this summer. Undoubtedly, British Airways will be keen to share its voice and keep a close eye on these advances.

British Airways 777
IAG boss Luis Gallego has called for international common testing standards and the implementation of digital health passes. Photo: Getty Images

Preparing properly

The BBC reports that BA is looking to make it easier for passengers to prove that they are safe to travel once they have been vaccinated against the virus. Under the plans, those who have had two doses will be able to register their status on the flag carrier of the United Kingdom’s mobile app. Notably, the operator wants to be a leader in this next stage.

“We’re making great progress in Britain in dealing with the pandemic. It’s fair to say that Britain has developed a really strong leadership position in coming out the other end of the pandemic,” British Airways chief executive Sean Doyle said, as reported by the BBC.

“What we want to make sure is that we also take that leadership position into restoring travel and restoring the economy.”

Gatwick, London, British Airways, Easyjet
European airlines will all be keen to get more planes off the ground this summer. Photo: Getty Images

A changing industry

Altogether, several airlines across the globe have been rolling out digital health passes. Most countries have some sort of requirement for entry, whether it’s testing, quarantine, or vaccination. So, depending on the specifications of the destination, these apps will make it easier to store and share information to travel. British Airways already uses the VeriFLY platform on all inbound flights.

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There is plenty of pent-up demand to travel this summer. Future bookings surged after the UK government first spoke about its roadmap to recovery last month. So, the last thing British Airways wants is to suspend services again. Therefore, these initiatives will help coordinate efficient and safe travel.

What are your thoughts about British Airways planning an app-based digital health pass? Do you think that this is a good move for the carrier? Do you expect this type of initiative to be a standard in the industry going forward? Let us know what you think of the situation in the comment section.