April 13 2021  |  Airline & Terminal News

SAUDIA to trial IATA Travel Pass this month

By Jane Hobson

Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) have announced a partnership to trial the IATA Travel Pass. The Travel Pass, first introduced in January, is a digital health pass that aims to support the safe reopening of borders and assist in the industry recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

The mobile app enables passengers to create digital passports where test and vaccine data can be securely loaded and shared, to ensure that governmental health requirements are fulfilled both at departure and destination points

SAUDIA will begin to introduce the IATA Travel Pass on its network, starting first with a trial that is set to take place on the Kuala Lumpur – Jeddah route on April 19.

Guests traveling with SAUDIA will be able to visit a designated laboratory in Malaysia to complete PCR test requirements, which can then be uploaded on the IATA Travel App for use in onward travel to Saudi Arabia.

“SAUDIA is keen to partner with IATA in this innovative digital solution which will assist in steering industry recovery and facilitating the travel process for all stakeholders, the passenger, the airline, the testing labs and the border authorities," said Khalid Albassam, Chief Commercial Officer at SAUDIA.

“SAUDIA continues to lead the way in safety measures and ease of travel with electronic solutions and the IATA Travel Pass partnership is another reinforcement that readiness and usage of contactless methods is the way forward for travel journeys,” he added.

SAUDIA is among the world’s leading airlines to partner with IATA on the initiative. Singapore Airlines was the first airline to pilot to program, with the first traveler successfully arriving at London’s Heathrow Airport in mid-March using the IATA Travel Pass app to manage their travel health credentials on a Singapore flight.

Following the trial with SAUDIA, once the IATA Travel Pass is finalized, it will be rolled out across the airline’s network.

“We’re proud to work with SAUDIA to make IATA Travel Pass available in Saudi Arabia," said Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for Airport, Passenger, Cargo and Security. "This is the first step in making regional and international travel during the pandemic as convenient as possible giving people the confidence that they are meeting COVID-19 government health requirements. IATA Travel Pass holds the key to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, which is an important contributor to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s economy."

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