After the trials, airlines and airports in the Gulf are ready to fully take on board IATA Travel pass, which will help speed up procedures related to travelling even with a pandemic on. Image Credit: Bloomberg

Dubai: Gulf airlines will be going live with IATA’s Travel Pass in the next few weeks, according to air industry grouping's Director-General Willie Walsh.

The platform will allow passengers to have a digital passport verified with all their pre-travel test or vaccination details to meet the requirements at the end destination. They will also be able to share test and vaccination certificates with authorities and airlines to facilitate smoother processing at airports.

This will "see people in the region, air carriers in the region, going live - we expect that to be the case in the next few weeks,” said Walsh. “These are discussions between IATA and the airlines involved at the moment. But they are providing us with valuable feedback from customers as we go through the testing phase.

“We have seen Emirates, Qatar, and Etihad leading the way with testing, providing critical feedback to us, and we're confident that this represents an excellent solution for airlines. We're also engaging with governments to try and get them to acknowledge (that) a digital solution is necessary on arrival as well, because you know what we can't afford to see are 7-8 hour queues at immigration.”

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Spread across networks

Emirates had previously said that it was scaling up its IATA Travel Pass capabilities on its flights to Barcelona, Moscow, Istanbul, New York JFK, Madrid and from London Heathrow with plans to scale up across all of its flights by July, in addition to offering customers travelling from Dubai paperless verification of COVID-19 related medical records through its partnership with the Dubai Health Authority.

Last month, Abu Dhabi’s Etihad was trialing IATA’s platform on flights to Chicago, New York, Washington and Toronto between for their COVID-19 health checks.