IATA The is partnering with the government of the Republic of Panama and Copa Airlines to trial IATA Travel Pass – a mobile app to help passengers easily and securely manage their travel in line with government requirements for COVID-19 testing or vaccine information.
Panama is the first government to participate in a trial of IATA Travel Pass which will be essential to re-establishing global connectivity while managing the risks of COVID-19.
Copa Airlines will be the first carrier in the Americas to trial the IATA Travel Pass.
Using IATA Travel Pass, Copa Airlines passengers will be able to create a ‘digital passport.’ This will allow passengers to match their travel itineraries with the COVID-19 health requirements of their destination and validate that they are in compliance with these. The initial trial phase is expected to begin in March on select flights from Copa’s Hub of the Americas in Panama City.
Dan Gunn, Copa’s senior vice president for operations, said that: “At Copa Airlines we are proud to be pioneers in the implementation of IATA Travel Pass, working together with IATA and the government of Panama. The IATA Travel Pass will simplify and enhance compliance with health requirements for our passengers. An international standard solution for digital health passports such as IATA Travel Pass holds the key to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, which is an important contributor to Panama’s and Latin America’s economy.”
Ivan Eskildsen, administrator of the Panama Tourism Authority, commented that: “The Government of Panama supports the implementation of this important tool developed by IATA that, through its integration with different stakeholders, will allow passengers to comply with our health requirements, thus restoring confidence in travel and tourism, important pillars for the country’s economic recovery.”
Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, pointed out that: “The IATA Travel Pass is gaining momentum. This trial, the first in the Americas, will provide valuable input and feedback to improve the Travel Pass program. This is an important step in enabling international travel during the pandemic, giving people the confidence that they are meeting all COVID-19 entry requirements by governments. We are proud to be working with Copa Airlines and the government of Panama on this vital trial.”
Peter Cerdá, IATA regional vice president for the Americas, said that: “Aviation is the backbone of many economies across the Americas. And it has essentially ground to a halt in the crisis—taking a huge toll in lost jobs across the region. The IATA Travel Pass will help give governments confidence that passengers have complied with health requirements enabling aviation to reconnect the region’s economies with each other and to the world. Copa Airlines’ extensive network in the region and Panama’s strategic geographic position makes them an ideal candidate to trial the IATA Travel Pass.”
Along with checking travel requirements, IATA Travel Pass will also include a registry of testing and eventually vaccination centers – making it more convenient for passengers to find testing centers and labs at their departure location which meet the standards for testing and vaccination requirements of their destination.
The platform will also enable authorized labs and test centers to securely send test results or vaccination certificates to passengers. This will manage and allow the secure flow of necessary information amongst all stakeholders and to provide a seamless passenger experience.