The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that its COVID-19 vaccine and test results 'travel pass' app for the iPhone will be available next month.
When traveling or visiting places that need paperwork, the app can offer an alternative to carrying around paper vaccination cards.
On its website, the IATA describes its Travel Pass app stating that it will help users find COVID-19 details about their upcoming travel, such as testing and vaccine requirements.
The app will also assist users in locating testing centers in the areas to which they are traveling and will allow those authorized centers to share the results with the passengers through the app.
Travelers will then be able to use the app to indicate that they have been tested/vaccinated as required, streamlining a process that is currently very complex and time-consuming.
Qantas, Malaysia Airlines, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines, and Hong Kong Airlines are among the airlines that intend to test the IATA Travel Pass service.
Virgin Atlantic reportedly plans to test the digital pass on its London-Barbados route beginning on Apr. 16. The app will be accepted at the Caribbean island's border, making it one of the first countries to allow a digital pass instead of paper documents.
IATA is positioning the app as a way to accelerate check-ins, particularly as more people believe it is safe to fly again. Whether or not it actually works will be measured by the number of airlines, airports, and countries that adopt the standard.
According to Reuters, IATA Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, Kamil Alawadhi, said the iOS version was expected to launch on April 15.
"But the application will only achieve its success once airlines, different countries, [and] airports adopt it," said Alawadhi. "A huge amount of airlines have requested to be on board."
The IATA Travel Pass is not the first COVID-19 passport initiative. In the U.S., the honor goes to the digital Excelsior Pass, which New York launched last week.