Airline’s move to fly safely again

A move by a major airline is a hint of the tough new demands they will make before allowing travellers board flights in the future.

Air New Zealand is taking steps towards a vaccine passport system, starting with a trial of a health verification app on flights between Auckland and Sydney.

The company said on Monday it would trial the Travel Pass smartphone application on a number of April flights between the two cities.

“Once borders reopen, travel is going to look very different, with customers’ health data needing to be verified at check-in,” chief digital officer Jennifer Sepull said in a statement.

“It‘s essentially like having a digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines.”

Travellers will be able to permit health professionals to upload test results and vaccination certificates to the app.

That information can then be checked against travel requirements and give the user a “green tick” showing they’re good to go.

Customers will be invited to voluntarily join the three-week trial once the app becomes available for download in April.

An executive at the organisation that developed the app, the International Air Transport Association, said it’s a step towards restarting international travel.

“Air New Zealand’s trial of IATA Travel Pass will help give governments the confidence to re-open borders and passengers the confidence to travel,” senior vice president Nick Careen said.

Air New Zealand is in talks with government agencies about how to validate testing and vaccination information, the company said.

The health data will be kept secure and won’t be stored in a central database, the company said.

Other international airlines including British Airways, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways previously flagged they would trial the IATA health check system, the organisation has said.

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