Airlines of the Lufthansa Group are the latest to join the industry’s efforts to develop digital health passports. Beginning Feb. 26, Lufthansa will run the first trials of the technology on flights from Frankfurt to Istanbul, and from Newark to Frankfurt and Munich.
In March, the service will be extended to SWISS customers on the Newark to Zurich route.
Prior to travel, customers on these routes will be able to upload their COVID-19 test results to the Lufthansa Group Health Entry Support Center via an online portal. This service will be available as early as 72 hours before departure.
Once the required documents are uploaded, they will be checked by the airline. If the certificates meet the entry requirements for the destination, the customers will receive a confirmation e-mail. Customers will receive feedback if the documents are found to be insufficient for travel.
The airline emphasizes that passengers must still carry the original certificates during their journey.
Lufthansa states that the initiative will allow customers to have “more planning security” and that it will speed up check-in and boarding processes.
Depending on the findings of the trial, the airline may roll this out to all flights, while “digital health passports are also to be integrated into the travel chain in the future.”
Airlines around the world are piloting a range of digital health passports as a step toward restarting international travel. The IATA Travel Pass is in trials with a number of airlines including Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Qatar Airways.
American Airlines recently extended the use of the VeriFLY digital health passport app to cover both its domestic US flights and its international routes, while American’s joint venture partner British Airways is also using the app for inbound international flights to the UK.