Qantas confirms rollout of IATA digital 'health pass' for international flights

Qantas has confirmed it will roll out a digital health pass for international flights, which will confirm passengers have clearance to fly.

Qantas and Jetstar use the International Air Transport Association's (IATA) Travel Pass, which will allow passengers to prove they have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or have had a negative test result before their flight.

The Travel Pass will also check the passenger's health information against the specific requirements for their flight, including the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to.

Qantas said in a statement that final development work is under way to ensure the health pass app is ready for use on Qantas and Jetstar flights when international travel resumes.

The statement noted that many countries where Qantas and Jetstar had flown to before the pandemic now required either proof of vaccination or a negative test result in order to enter without undergoing quarantine. These include the UK, the US and Canada.

"We want to get our international flights back in the air and our people back to work and a digital health pass will be a key part of that," said Qantas Group chief customer officer, Stephanie Tully.

"Many governments are already requiring proof of vaccine or a negative COVID test result for international travel. Even if it wasn't a government requirement, Qantas has always been a leader in safety and we have a responsibility to our customers and crew.

"A digital health pass will connect customers with COVID testing facilities, health authorities and airlines, and ultimately enable the opening of more travel bubbles and borders."

""The IATA Travel Pass will allow travellers to have their COVID test results and vaccine information verified securely, which will be their green light to fly internationally with us."

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The IATA Travel Pass has been in development since last year and has been trialled by several of the major airlines that fly to Australia, including Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Etihad and Qatar Airways.

Qantas said that passengers who do not use the app would still be able to present a vaccination certificate or proof of a negative test at the airport. However, these customers would not be able to receive confirmation they were cleared to fly prior to arrival at the airport.

Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce has called on corporate Australia to encourage vaccinations. In May, Joyce unveiled details of the airline's plan to reward passengers for getting vaccinated against COVID-19. Incentives include discounts, flight vouchers or 1000 frequent flyer points. There are also 10 'mega-prizes' of free flights for a year.

Proof of vaccination or negative COVID tests vary from country to country and have proven problematic for some travellers in Europe as the continent reopens.

Earlier this month, France made the use of its health passport mandatory for accessing attractions like the Eiffel Tower and Paris museums, along with events hosting more than 50 people. In August it will become mandatory for access to restaurants and bars.

See also: What you need to know about the IATA 'OK to travel' pass airlines are adopting

See also: Will AstraZeneca mean some Australians are unable to travel overseas?

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