Qatar Airways has announced it will begin trials of the the IATA Travel Pass digital health app. The airline is joining fellow Gulf carriers Emirates and Etihad taking part in testing the technology.

The app enables passengers to download COVID-19 test results and verify they meet the requirements to be allowed entry to their destination through an ‘OK to Travel’ status.

Qatar Airways will run the trial on its Doha-Istanbul route in March, and claims it will be the first airline in the Middle East to do so. Etihad recently announced plans to trial the app on “selected flights from Abu Dhabi in the first quarter of 2021,” while Emirates is to start the first phase of its rollout in April.

Singapore Airlines launched the initial trial of the app in December on flights operated from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.

With testing requirements and vaccinations becoming part of everyday travel life, verification solutions are gaining momentum. In addition to the IATA Travel Pass, a number of airlines and other providers both within the travel industry and outside of it are offering their own versions of a ‘digital health passport.’

Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director General and CEO, said that the Qatar Airways trial would “help us build confidence among governments and travelers that IATA Travel Pass can securely and conveniently link traveler identities with their digital travel credentials.”

Qatar Airways group chief executive Akbar Al Baker commented, “With the most rigorous and robust COVID-19 safety program 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 trialing 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.”

qatarairways.com,  iata.org