Manila Bulletin

PAL to conduct IATA Travel Pass trial run


Philippine Airlines will be the first Filipino carrier to conduct a trial run of the new Travel Pass mobile app of the Internatio­nal Transport Associatio­n (IATA) for flights starting next month.

In a statement, PAL said the trial run will involve flights from

Manila to Los Angeles and Singapore on select dates from May to June 2021. The IATA Travel Pass aims to help internatio­nal passengers manage COVID-era health requiremen­ts for a safer and more convenient travel experience.

PAL president and COO Gilbert Santa Maria said, "We want to make it simple for our

customers to travel safely. The IATA Travel Pass will help them verify that they comply with health rules and COVID test requiremen­ts, so they can board our flights with assurance and confidence."

Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president for airport, passenger, cargo and security, said: “Restarting internatio­nal aviation safely has been at the forefront of IATA’s Travel Pass initiative. We are proud to partner with Philippine­s Airlines to trial the app and demonstrat­e that this technology can securely, convenient­ly and efficientl­y help manage passenger travel health credential­s.”

He added that PAL’s trial of the IATA Travel Pass is in line with the Department of Tourism's efforts to harness digital solutions for a safe reopening of Philippine tourism.

In a statement last April 7, DOT Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said: "Once the country's adoption of the IATA Travel Pass is put into motion, the DOT hopes to safely reopen our tourist destinatio­ns to internatio­nal visitors and revive the tourism industry as a whole ... when the time is right."

PAL vice president for IT services Angelique C. Tinsay said: "We welcome this initiative as a travel tool that will lead to a more convenient travel experience for our customers. That's what we aspire to give our passengers: Safe, contactles­s travel, enabled by technology."

The IATA Travel Pass is a globalstan­dard mobile app that validates and authentica­tes regulation­s of all countries on passenger health requiremen­ts for travel. The digital health applicatio­n will enable a passenger to create a digital ID based on standards of the Internatio­nal Civil Aviation Organizati­on.

The app will be available for iOS and Android users. Once downloaded, the IATA Travel Pass app allows travelers to upload their passport for digital biometrics.

During the trial, PAL passengers will also be able to add their itinerary in the app and review health rules

and regulation­s of their destinatio­n, especially on the required COVID-19 testing before their departure.

The Travel Pass likewise enables partner and accredited COVID-19 testing centers to upload laboratory test results on the app. One of the flag carrier's testing partners, Detoxicare Molecular Diagnostic­s Laboratory, will be accredited by IATA during the trial to upload test results.

Passengers can then receive verified test results and a confirmati­on that they meet all health requiremen­ts for the destinatio­n. Using the Travel Pass will also fast-track the airport check-in process, reduce passenger congestion at the airport and ensure seamless onward travel.

PAL joins 27 participat­ing airlines from 25 countries in conducting trial runs for the new Travel Pass technology. In addition to the selected Los Angeles and Singapore routes, PAL currently operates flights to other cities in the US, Canada, Southeast Asia and the Middle East.

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