By Esther Onyegbula
RwandAir will become first African airline to try IATA travel pass to enable safe and seamless international travel.
The airline will begin a three-week trial in April for customers travelling between Kigali and Nairobi, Kenya.
IATA travel pass is a digital platform to help passengers easily and securely verify that they comply with COVID-19 test or vaccine travel requirements, in turn giving governments the confidence to reopen borders.
Developed by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association for the world’s airlines, the platform is designed to be incorporated into airlines’ own apps, so air travellers easily understand what they need before they fly.
Yvonne Manzi Makolo, CEO of RwandAir, said: “RwandAir is proud to be the first African airline to try IATA Travel Pass, which could reinforce all the health and safety measures and protocols, which we have put in place to restore customer confidence to fly once more.
We are incredibly proud to be part of IATA’s Industry Advisory Panel, to ensure we guide the technology development in a way that covers the unique requirements of our passenger profile.
“IATA’s innovative solution simplifies and digitally transmits the information required by countries and governments around the world into our airline systems, in a secure and efficient manner.
“Travel Pass will make it easy for our customers to resume flying— and just as easy for RwandAir, and airlines around the world, to accept them.”
Alexandre de Juniac, IATA Director-General and CEO, said: “RwandAir is showing its industry leadership in Africa by becoming the first airline on the continent to try IATA Travel Pass.
“RwandAir has long used IATA products as the most reliable source of information on entry requirements.
“This trial will build on that history of working in partnership and takes us a step further in the context of COVID-19.
“IATA Travel Pass will give governments the confidence to re-open their borders knowing that arriving passengers are in full compliance with any testing or vaccination requirements.”
The trial app has a range of features, including a registry of testing centres and labs at the departure and/or arrival location which can conduct COVID-19 tests in accordance with the type of test required for the journey.
RwandAir customers participating in the trial will create a ‘digital passport’ which verifies that their pre-travel COVID-19 test or vaccination meets the requirements of the destination they are travelling to.
They will also be able to safely and securely share their test and vaccination certificates with participating authorities and airlines around the world to ensure smooth and seamless travel.