Emirates is among the first airlines to begin trialling a digital vaccine passport.
The Dubai-based carrier, which was also one of the first to launch free pre-flight Covid-19 tests, will trial the IATA Travel Pass – a mobile app to help passengers manage their travel in line with government requirements for Covid-19 testing or vaccine information.
The trial will be based at Emirates’ Dubai hub, initially for airline staff to check flyers have their pre-flight PCR test certificate.
Eventually, airline or border staff to verify passengers have had their Covid-19 vaccine.
Airline lobby group the International Air Transport Association (IATA) has long-pushed for a global standard in pre-flight testing in the hope of a swift recovery from the pandemic by the aviation and travel industry.
The trial won’t start until April, where Emirates customers travelling from Dubai will be able to share their Covid-19 test status directly with the airline through the app, which will then auto-populate the details on the check-in system.
Nick Careen, IATA’s head of airport, passenger, cargo and security said: “This is the first step in making 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 Emirates customers will be among the first to have these services,” he added.
Non-essential travel is currently banned in the UK.
When it is allowed again it’s expected nearly all passengers will need to show a negative Covid test.