Airlink to test its first IATA Travel Pass on South Africa-Namibia route
Privately-owned Southern African airline, Airlink will become the first carrier in Southern Africa to trial the International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass and will try it out on its flights between South Africa and Namibia during November 2021
The IATA Travel Pass is a secure digital smartphone app for passengers to provide accurate information on their COVID-19 health status and access the entry requirements of any countries they intend to visit.
It is being developed to support the re-opening of borders without quarantine and safely restart international aviation and tourism. It is more secure and efficient than current paper processes used to manage health requirements (the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, for example).
In the Airlink trials, the IATA Travel Pass will confirm pre-departure, that passengers meet the COVID-19 test requirements for travel with Airlink on flights between South Africa and Namibia.
Airlink CEO and Managing Director, Rodger Foster said the adoption of the IATA Travel Pass is urgently required to eliminate the uncertainty that currently deters international air travel and by extension, business, trade, tourism and the creation of desperately-needed jobs throughout Southern Africa.
Nick Careen, IATA, Senior Vice President Operations, Safety and Security said their collaboration with Airlink and the South African and Namibian authorities will help promote the safe restoration of international air travel within Southern Africa and between the region and its markets in other parts of Africa and around the world.
Airlink customers flying on those routes will be able to download the IATA Travel Pass app from the Apple Store or from Google Play. Currently, it can only be used when travelling with airlines participating in the trials.
As this is a trial and subject to adjustments, passengers should still carry printed copies of their negative COVID-19 PCR test results on their journey.
The Namibian laboratories participating in Airlink’s South Africa-Namibia trail are DiagnoLab, Namib Laboratories; and for South Africa, it is DNAlysis, iMed, Indalo Bio, FlowPath Laboratories, Inception Biosciences and MDS/mi-LabTest in Pinetown and Westville.
IATA Travel Pass has been undergoing development since 2020 and is being tested by airlines and government authorities in several other parts of the world.