RwandAir the 1st African Airline to try out IATA Travel Pass
RwandAir the 1st African Airline to try out IATA Travel Pass: As of February 23rd, 2021, RwandAir, the national airline of Rwanda was the first African airline to schedule a tryout of the IATA Travel Pass. The IATA travel pass initiative is a global digital platform whose need was seen to solve problems of travel post-COVID times. The IATA travel pass is an online function where travellers will be availed with the required information on the tests required upon entry of every country, where to get the tests or vaccines and also share a more accurate analysis on a traveler’s COVID-19 health status. Travellers will also be able to share their test results or vaccination status in a more safe, private, and authentic way and this will give the people confidence on relaxing boundaries.
The major problem this platform is aimed at solving is the importation of the COVID-19 as you travel and this travel pass is expected to help monitor the limiting of the spread of the virus among travellers. The travel pass will have four interoperable modules when put together come up with the solution for this problem. The platform will have a registry of health requirements for a number of destinations, a registry of the testing or vaccination centers in the different destinations, also authorized lab app where labs can securely share test results or vaccination results of passengers, and finally a travel pass app where the traveller will be able to check their qualification for travel if they have all requirements for their destination to avoid last minute surprises. This app looks forward to becoming a vaccine program app too and this is all according to how the industry stakeholders will respond to it. Reception from RwandAir gives hope to the success of this program.
This is an initiative that has been developed and backed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association that governs most airlines worldwide and this application will join the other apps of the airlines. This association has over the years ensured aviation companies follow and meet the global standards for all their operations to be airline safe, secure, efficient and in a sustainable way.
RwandAir is among the 290 members of this trade association and this means 82% of the airlines in the airspace are members of IATA. IATA has accredited over 100,000 agents to handle travel and cargo and serve travellers and shippers and offer them solutions worldwide on their behalf. RwandAir has showed one of the fastest growths among the airlines of Africa and is one of the youngest state-of-the-art fleets on the African continent. RwandAir has a fleet of 12 aircrafts that have been achieved in a period of less than six years. RwandAir is serving up to 25 destinations throughout Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
The travellers opting to use RwandAir and are up to participate in this trial will create a “digital passport” which will verify if their COVID-19 test they took pre-travel meets the requirements of their destination. They will also try to share this test result or vaccination certificate with the authorities and airlines on the app all over the world to see the effectiveness of the app for easing travel post COVID.
Statements were released by the heads of RwandAir and the IATA Director General on this strategy. Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO of RwandAir expressed her pride in the RwandAir being Africa’s first airline to give this IATA Travel pass a try with hope to reinstate the health and safety standards of the airline. Yvonne also hopes for this strategy to help regain confidence in flying like before. Yvonne further expressed how proud the airline is to be a part of the IATA industry Advisory Panel in ensuring the technology development is done in a way that caters for the needs of the passengers’ profile.
Alexandre de Juniac the IATA Director General and Chief Executive Officer also noticed the RwandAir by saying “RwandAir is showing its industry leadership in Africa by becoming the first airline on the continent to test IATA Travel Pass. RwandAir has been a loyal subscriber to the IATA products and this trail looks at building information collected over time on the travelers’ profile to ensure the effectiveness of the travel pass. This travel pass is expected to offer the safe and seamless flight experience once again.