Singapore Airlines has begun trailing a digital health pass system. The system will allow passengers to input their health details, negative COVID-19 tests, and possibly vaccination in the future. The system is based on IATA’s Travel Pass framework, which aims to make travel more seamless in the coming future.
Singapore Airlines is the first airline to roll out a digital health pass based on the IATA framework. The system allows passengers to store their negative COVID-19 tests digitally with a dedicated QR code. This code can be scanned by airline staff upon check-in, speeding up the verification process.
Along with faster verification, the digital QR code also ensures the tests are genuine and conducted at a verified laboratory. This is possible since the test provider generates the QR code and sends it to the passenger. Currently, passengers have to carry paper copies of their test results that are certified at the airport manually.
The digital verification will also speed up immigration and other entry checks, with just a single scan required. Powered by IATA’s Titamic registry, the pass can ensure passengers meet the entry requirements for their destination too.
Singapore Airlines started its first trial with the digital health pass yesterday. Passengers flying from Kuala Lumpur or Jakarta to Singapore, who take their tests at specific clinics will receive their results digitally or on paper with a QR code.
Currently, 12 test providers in Jakarta and four in Kuala Lumpur provide digitally verified results to passengers. However, more will likely sign up if Singapore Airlines officially rolls out the tool next year.
In a press release seen by Simple Flying, Ms. JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior VP Marketing Planning at Singapore Airlines said,
“Covid-19 tests and vaccinations will be an integral part of air travel for the foreseeable future. We are offering a digital solution that allows the easy and secure verification of this information, and supports the industry’s safe and calibrated recovery from this pandemic. Using IATA’s robust Travel Pass framework would also provide our customers and governments with the assurance that they need about the security and authenticity of the test and vaccination information.”
While the system may only be available on two routes for now, it could be expanded further if the trails are successful. The system will be integrated into the SingaporeAir app from mid-2021, making it easier to handle alongside flight details. The app will also support vaccination details as they become available, although exact details remain unknown.
Singapore Airlines also completed its first shipment of carrying vaccines this week, starting the long journey to recovery. The coming months could see more airlines roll out their own apps to verify health details more efficiently.
What do you think about the health pass initiatives? Will they become like digital passports in the future? Let us know in the comment section.