Latvian hybrid carrier airBaltic has revealed that it is to trial IATA’s answer to the health passport for a period of three weeks. The Riga based airline will initially offer the Travel Pass application to travelers on a handful of routes during its trial.
COVID-19 travel-related restrictions currently vary all around the world. So do the ways of proving vaccination and COVID-19 test status. IATA, the global aviation trade body, is attempting to implement a standard with its travel pass offering. Rather than coming as a standalone app, airlines will deploy the tool through their own apps.
airBaltic’s health passport
airBaltic today revealed its plans to become one of the airlines trialing IATA’s health passport solution. Initially running for three weeks, airBaltic will offer the solution on two routes originating in Riga. Passengers traveling to and from Olso and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport will be able to use the offering.
Commenting on airBaltic’s implementation of the app, the airline’s CEO Martin Gauss said,
“Travelling today has become increasingly complex for the passengers. We appreciate IATA for introducing a global solution that is capable of helping to make the voyage smoother, while increasing reliability of the testing certification passengers often need to present to boarding agents.”
How does the application work?
As mentioned above, rather than being a standalone app like the VeriFLY app used by British Airways, airlines will implement IATA’s health passport into their apps and websites.
The app works through four main interconnected processes. The four modules cover key parts of the testing and certification process. These are,
- Listing regulatory entry requirements
- Listing labs and test centers,
- verified testing/ vaccination certificate issuance,
- the possibility for passengers to share their test results to the relevant authorities via their mobile device.
How has airBaltic reacted to COVID-19?
It has now been almost a year since airBaltic began to feel the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. According to Radarbox.com, its last week of regular operations was March 12th to 18th last year. By April, the airline had become the first to ground services completely.
Apart from a few cargo flights, the airline’s fleet remained grounded until late May. The Riga-based airline went into its grounding, still flying a handful of Boeing 737s and Q400 aircraft. However, due to the lower demand generated by the situation, it no longer needed the entire fleet’s full capacity.
As a result, the airline came out of its suspension refreshed as an all-Airbus A220 airline. The average age of its 25 A220-300s is just 2.4 years, making it one of the world’s youngest significant fleets.
Are you pleased to see airBaltic partnering to use the IATA travel pass app? Let us know what you think and why in the comments!