Qatar Airways aims to be first airline in Middle East to trial COVID-19 ‘Digital Passport’
In March 2021, passengers on the award-winning airline’s Doha to Istanbul route will begin trialling the digital platform enabling them to seamlessly travel between the two countries, in a more safe and secure way
Qatar Airways targets becoming the first airline in the Middle East to begin trialling the innovative new IATA Travel Pass ‘Digital Passport’ mobile app, in partnership with the International Air Transport Association (IATA), from March 2021. The trial will play an important role in the airline's vision to have a more contactless, secure and seamless travel experience for its passengers.
The first phase of trials of the ‘Digital Passport’ will be rolled out on the airline’s Doha to Istanbul route, enabling passengers to receive COVID-19 test results and verify they are eligible to undertake their journey. It will also allow travellers to safely and securely share their verified 'OK to Travel’ status with the airline and other stakeholders, even before their arrival at the airport.
IATA Travel Pass will also provide up-to-date information on COVID-19 health regulations helping travellers to ensure they meet the latest government entry requirements of their destination country.
Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive, His Excellency Mr. Akbar Al Baker, said: “With the most rigorous and robust COVID-19 safety programme in existence within the global aviation community, we are focused on ensuring that Qatar Airways will become the first airline in the Middle East to begin trialling the ground-breaking IATA Travel Pass technology and we are committed to supporting the airline industry as a whole through IATA’s Industry Advisory Panel.
“As an industry leader and the only 5-Star-rated global airline recently announced in the Skytrax COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating, we are commited to safeguarding the safety, health and wellbeing of our passengers, and ensuring an integrated, seamless customer experience at every point of their journey with us.
“The IATA Travel Pass effectively acts as a ‘digital passport’ for travellers and is the latest tool in our fight against the spread of COVID-19, enabling passengers to securely and effortlessly navigate their travel plans, safe in the knowledge that their verified travel credential is based on the latest COVID-19 information, the strictest data privacy regulations and entry rules for the destination they will travel to.
“We hope that by investing in this technology we are able to further encourage passengers around the world to have greater confidence in the safety of air travel and begin making future travel plans over the coming months.”
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, said: “Qatar Airways is showing its industry leadership. IATA Travel Pass will verify testing or vaccination credentials of travellers, which is the key to unlocking travel without quarantine measures. The Qatar Airways digital passport trial will help us build confidence among governments and travellers that IATA Travel Pass can securely and conveniently link traveller identities with their digital travel credentials. It will also help us prove that ICAO’s global standards for digital passports work. And it will highlight the need for governments to accelerate their work with industry to develop global standards for health certificates—a critical enabler to safely re-connecting the world.”
Qatar Airways has become the first global airline in the world to achieve the prestigious 5-Star COVID-19 Airline Safety Rating by international air transport rating organisation, Skytrax. This follows HIA’s recent success as the first airport in the Middle East and Asia to be awarded a Skytrax 5-Star COVID-19 Airport Safety Rating. These recognitions provide assurance to passengers across the world that airline health and safety standards are subject to the highest possible standards of professional, independent scrutiny and assessment. For full details of all the measures that have been implemented onboard and in HIA, please visit qatarairways.com/safety.
Qatar Airways currently operates more than 800 weekly flights to over 120 destinations across the globe. By the end of March, Qatar Airways plans to rebuild its network to 130 destinations. With more frequencies being added to key hubs, Qatar Airways offers unrivalled connectivity to passengers, making it easy for them to change their travel dates or destination if they need to.
Passengers can book flights with peace of mind, knowing that Qatar Airways offers unlimited date changes and fee-free refunds for all tickets issued before 30 April 2021, for travel completed by 31 December 2021. The carrier’s industry-leading flexible booking policy also provides the permanent feature of exchanging tickets for a travel voucher with 10% additional value for all customers booking travel via qatarairways.com. For full terms and conditions visit qatarairways.com/Flexibility.
A multiple award-winning airline, Qatar Airways was named ‘World’s Best Airline’ by the 2019 World Airline Awards, managed by the international air transport rating organisation Skytrax. It was also named ‘Best Airline in the Middle East’, ‘World’s Best Business Class’, and ‘Best Business Class Seat’, in recognition of its ground-breaking Business Class experience, Qsuite. Qsuite is available on flights to more than 45 destinations including Johannesburg, Kuala Lumpur, London and New York.
Qatar Airways is the only airline to have been awarded the coveted ‘Skytrax Airline of the Year’ title, which is recognised as the pinnacle of excellence in the airline industry, five times. In addition to this, Qatar Airways home and hub, Hamad International Airport (HIA) was ranked the ‘Best Airport in the Middle East’ and ‘Third Best Airport in the World’ by the SKYTRAX World Airport Awards 2020.