The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that the EU Digital COVID Certificate (DCC) and UK NHS COVID Pass can now be uploaded to the IATA Travel Pass as verified proof of vaccination for the trip. Travelers with an EU DCC or UK NHS COVID pass can now access accurate COVID-19 travel information for their trip, create an electronic version of their passport and import their vaccination certificate in one place . This information can be shared with airlines and border control authorities who can be assured that the certificate presented to them is genuine and belongs to the person presenting it.
“COVID-19 vaccination certificates are becoming a widespread requirement for international travel. Managing European and UK certificates through IATA Travel Pass is an important step forward, providing convenience for travelers, authenticity for governments and efficiency for airlines, ”said Nick Careen, IATA Senior Vice President for safety and security of operations.
Harmonizing digital vaccine standards is key to supporting the safe and scalable restart of aviation, avoiding unnecessary queues at airports and ensuring a smooth passenger experience. IATA welcomes the work of the European Commission to develop the EU’s DCC system in record time and thereby standardize digital vaccine certificates across Europe.
Building on the success of the EU’s DCC, IATA urges the World Health Organization (WHO) to review its work to develop a digital global vaccine standard.
“The lack of a global standard makes it much more difficult for airlines, border authorities and governments to recognize and verify a traveler’s digital vaccination certificate. The industry is getting around this problem by developing solutions capable of recognizing and verifying the certificates of each country. But it is a slow process that is hampering the restart of international travel. As more states roll out their immunization programs, many are urgently looking to implement technical solutions to provide vaccine certification to their citizens when they travel. In the absence of a WHO standard, IATA urges them to take a close look at the EU’s DCC as a proven solution that meets WHO guidelines and can help reconnect the world, ”said Careen said.
Stranded airline funds could slow recovery
IATA has also urged governments to abide by international agreements and treaty obligations to enable airlines to repatriate nearly US $ 1 billion in stranded funds from the sale of tickets, cargo space and other activities. “Governments are preventing the repatriation of nearly US $ 1 billion in airline revenues. This violates international conventions and could slow the recovery of travel and tourism in affected markets as the airline industry struggles to recover from the COVID-19 crisis. Airlines will not be able to provide reliable connectivity if they cannot rely on local revenues to support their operations. This is why it is essential that all governments prioritize ensuring that funds can be repatriated effectively. Now is not the time to score an ‘own goal’ by jeopardizing vital air connectivity, ”said Willie Walsh, IATA chief executive.
About US $ 963 million in airline funds are stranded for repatriation in nearly 20 countries. Four countries: Bangladesh (US $ 146.1 million), Lebanon (US $ 175.5 million), Nigeria (US $ 143.8 million) and Zimbabwe (US $ 142.7 million) account for over 60 percent of that total, although there has been positive progress in reducing blockages. funds in Bangladesh and Zimbabwe lately. “We encourage governments to work with industry to resolve issues that prevent airlines from repatriating funds. This will allow aviation to provide the connectivity necessary to maintain jobs and energize economies as they recover from COVID-19, ”Walsh said.
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