Singapore Airlines has started trials on a new digital health verification process,
which will be the first in the world to be based on the International Air Transport
Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass framework.
This will offer passengers the ability to securely store and present information related to Covid-19 tests, as well as their vaccination status in the future.
This service started from December 23 to passengers travelling on flights operated by Singapore Airlines from Jakarta or Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
If it is successful, it could be extended to other cities in the SIA route network.
Passengers who take their Covid-19 tests at selected clinics in Jakarta and Kuala
Lumpur would be given either digital or paper health certificates with a QR code.
Airport check-in staff and Singapore’s immigration authority would be able to verify
the authenticity of these certificates via a secure mobile APP, and ensure that the
customers meet Singapore’s entry requirements.
Passengers without a digital certificate can also present the paper version for manual verification.
The airline says this is a faster and more secure way to validate a passenger’s health credentials than the existing protocols, speeding up both the airport check-in process and the immigration entry process into Singapore.
It would make it easier for SIA passengers to control their information, reduce friction during their travel journey, and result in a more seamless experience with the aid of digital technologies in the new normal.
IATA’s Timatic registry will provide the back-end information on the Covid-19
testing and entry requirements. This is part of the modular Travel Pass solution,
which aims to allow travellers to easily and securely manage their travel in line with
national requirements for Covid-19 testing and vaccine information.
Singapore Airlines also plans to integrate the entire process into the SingaporeAir
mobile app from around mid-2021, again using the Travel Pass framework.
The verification is enabled by an application developed by Affinidi, a Temasekfounded technology company enabling portable and verifiable data credentials.
SIA is working with its partners in Singapore, including the Ministry of
Transport, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Immigration and
Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and Changi Airport Group (CAG) in the facilitation of
these trials and towards the eventual restoration of a seamless travel experience
for its customers.
Ms JoAnn Tan, Acting Senior Vice President Marketing Planning, Singapore Airlines,
said: “Covid-19 tests and vaccinations will be an integral part of air travel for the
foreseeable future. We are offering a digital solution that allows the easy and secure
verification of this information, and supports the industry’s safe and calibrated
recovery from this pandemic. Using IATA’s robust Travel Pass framework would
also provide our customers and governments with the assurance that they need
about the security and authenticity of the test and vaccination information.”
Mr Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security
said: “Partnering with Singapore Airlines for the world’s first deployment of the
Timatic Covid-19 module of the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward. Together we
will demonstrate that people can return to travel with confidence that they are
meeting all government Covid-19 entry requirements.
“We already have plans to add additional features in the New Year. This will help ensure that SIA’s customers will be among the first to benefit as governments re-open their borders with testing or vaccination requirements. And the experience gained through collaboration helps prepare for the eventual global deployment of the IATA Travel Pass.”