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Singapore Airlines first to trial IATA Travel Pass App

Singapore Airlines has signed up to trial the ‘first full deployment’ of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass app.

The app, which stores and manages passengers’ Covid certifications and documents needed to enter a country, will be available to passengers using Apple iOS-enabled phones on Singapore to London routes.

After downloading the app, passengers can create an account with their photo and passport information, submit flights details, book Covid-19 tests in their country of departure and store relevant Covid-19 test and vaccinations certificates.

However, due to current regulations in Singapore and the UK, passengers will also need to carry a physical copy of their health certificate issued by the testing clinic.

The trial will begin on Monday 15 March and run until Sunday 28 March. If successful, the Travel Pass app will be integrated into Singapore Airline’s passenger process in mid-2021.

Participants will have full control over how their personal information is shared, as the data is stored locally in the mobile phone and not in any central database.

“The first phase of the trials helped to support SIA’s (Singapore Airlines) drive towards a secure and convenient industry standard for the verification of Covid-19 test results, and the health status of passengers including their vaccination status, in the future,” Singapore Airlines acting senior vice president marketing planning, JoAnn Tan said.

“That gives us the confidence that in the second phase, we can further streamline the verification process for eventual integration into SIA’s mobile application.

“This will help to provide a hassle-free digital solution for our customers in the new normal, and help to bring about a more seamless travel experience.”

In December, Singapore Airlines tested a digital health verification process based on the Travel Pass framework for passengers from Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur, in which clinics issued health certificates with QR codes that could be scanned in Singapore. The carrier said more than 200 such certificates have been verified by check-in staff since that trial began, and there have been no instances of fraudulent certificates.

How it works

The centralised app has four main elements: travel information, travel documents, Covid regulation-compliant certifications and privacy settings.

Through the app, travellers can find out what health requirements they need to fulfil to gain entry to their intended destination.

After testing or vaccination, the IATA-approved labs and centres can share results and certificates with passengers through the app.

Travellers can then use the app as a centralised digital vaccination or test passport.

IATA assures that the app has been built with privacy as the top priority and insists the app stores encrypted data including verified test or vaccination results. The Travel Pass is built on the Self-Sovereign Identity (SSI) principles that recognise individuals own and control their own data.

App users can control what information is shared with airlines and authorities as there is no central database or data repository is storing the information.

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