Emirates has started its trial of the International Air Transport Association Travel Pass, a free mobile app that allows travellers to store and share Covid-19 test and vaccine certificates with airlines and governments.
Passengers travelling today from Dubai to Barcelona on flight EK185 were the first to test the "digital passport" that verified and shared their pre-travel Covid-19 test status with Emirates ahead of the flight.
"The ability to process passengers' Covid-19-relevant data for travel digitally will be the way forward," said Adel Al Redha, Emirates's chief operating officer. "We are pleased to have been pioneers and partner with Iata in trialling this initiative in real time and soon will be launching other initiatives to further enhance our customer experience."
The trial is currently being conducted on select Emirates flights from Dubai to Barcelona, as well as London Heathrow to Dubai, but will soon be expanded to include other routes.
Travellers who are eligible are being asked to download the app and enrol for the digital travel pass ahead of their travels.
In Dubai, Emirates has partnered with select Prime Health Care labs for test results, while those travelling from the UK can get their test done at select Screen4 labs.
The app will have a registry of travel requirements to help passengers find up-to-date information on travel and entry restrictions for all destinations.
Eventually, the app will also include a registry of labs, making it more convenient for travellers to find testing centres and labs in the area that meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.
The travel industry hopes the new digital pass will give governments the confidence to open borders and ensure airports and customs officers can recognise various vaccines and test results from across the globe.