Emirates plans to use the International Air Transport Association's Travel Pass, a Covid health app being tested by airlines around the world, on all routes across its global network within the coming weeks.
The airline, which was among the first global airlines to run trials of the mobile app in April, currently uses it on flights to 10 cities in Europe and the US, it said in a statement on Monday.
"From our biometrics path at Dubai International to initiatives like the Iata Travel Pass and integration with the health authority databases, these projects deliver multiple benefits from better customer experiences to the reduced use of paper, and improved efficiency and reliability in travel document checks," said chief operating officer Adel Al Redha.
The Iata Travel Pass is set to go live globally within weeks, Iata's director general Willie Walsh said earlier this month.
A number of Middle East and global airlines will launch the digital travel pass for Covid-19 test results and vaccine certification, Mr Walsh said on June 10.
Emirates passengers can now use the the Iata Travel pass when flying between Dubai and London, Barcelona, Madrid, Istanbul, JFK airport in New York, Moscow, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Charles De Gaulle airport in Paris, according to the airline.
Passengers on these flights can use the app to gain access to the latest Covid-19 related travel information, including the location of PCR test labs, and manage their Covid-19 travel documents such as vaccination and the latest PCR test results.
Passengers on these flights will receive a text message and email with the activation code and instructions on downloading the Iata Travel Pass app.
The app is now available to both iOS and Android users, and can also be used by customers with non-biometric passports.
Al Hosn app integration
Emirates has also teamed up with the UAE's Covid-19 contact-tracing and health document app Al Hosn.
From July, Emirates will integrate the Al Hosn app with its check-in systems, expanding its existing integration with the Dubai Health Authority.
This will allow Emirates passengers travelling from the UAE to benefit from the quick digital retrieval and verification of Covid-19 medical records, regardless of where in the country they have received the vaccine or had PCR and antigen tests, Emirates said.
The airline addressed privacy concerns surrounding digital health certification and verification apps.
"Customers who opt to allow access their Covid-19 related health information via the Al Hosn app for travel purposes can rest assured that once check-in formalities are completed, information related to their Covid-19 medical records will be immediately discarded from the Emirates systems," the airline said.
Emirates, Etihad Airways, Saudia and Gulf Air are among the regional airlines conducting Iata Travel Pass trials on select routes.
The mobile app launch comes as Iata urges governments to allow the integration of digital Covid certificates into passenger applications such as its Travel Pass to relieve pressure on airports and immigration check-points as passenger traffic rebounds.
Emirates plans to ramp up capacity over the summer. By the end of July, it will have recovered close to 90 per cent of its pre-pandemic network and will operate 880 weekly services to 124 cities, up from 115 in June.