Today, Ryanair revealed that it has launched a new in-app health passport. The airline has developed its own solution to allowing passengers to prove their COVID-19 status ahead of its summer schedule plans. Developing health passport solutions is currently a top priority across the aviation industry.
While travel within Europe is currently at a relative low, airlines are hoping that this won’t continue to be the case over the summer. As incidence rates drop and vaccination rates rise, the hope is that airlines will be able to salvage the summer season like last year. However, to do this, passengers will likely have to prove that they are vaccinated against the virus or have tested negative.
Ryanair’s in-app solution
Ryanair has developed an in-app solution to allow passengers to prove their current COVID-19 status. The product, called the “COVID-19 Travel Wallet”, will be available to all passengers to save COVID-19 documents.
During the check-in process, passengers will be able to upload up to six documents to the Ryanair App. These could be negative COVID-19 test certificates, vaccination certificates, and anything else that governments may require for travel, such as a declaration.
Rather than offering verification of the documents such as the VeriFLY app used by British Airways, it seems as though Ryanair’s solution is more of a locker to ensure that records are readily available if needed. However, a note on the airline’s digital boarding pass does indicate whether or not such documentation has been uploaded.
Commenting, Ryanair’s Director of Marketing, Dara Brady, said,
“We are very pleased to launch this Ryanair C-19 Travel Wallet as we prepare for the return of family holidays in Summer ‘21… we believe that once the high-risk/elderly population of Europe is vaccinated by the end of May or June, travel restrictions will be relaxed and air travel will experience a bounce back from pent-up customer demand that will see European families travelling again for well-earned Summer holidays.”
An airline looking forward to the summer
Ryanair is currently experiencing incredibly depressed passenger numbers as a result of Europe’s second wave of COVID-19. Indeed, the airline’s flight numbers have almost fallen to those seen at the height of the crisis just under a year ago.
The airline is confident that its passenger numbers will bounce back as soon as travel restrictions are relaxed once more. This is a reasonable assumption, as it happened in August. In August 2020, Ryanair was operating around 70% of the flights it had in August 2019. While these flights were emptier, the airline still saw passengers recover by half before falling again as summer drew to a close.
What do you make of Ryanair’s COVID-19 document storage service? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!