The airlines' participation is part of the carrier's ongoing contributions towards the safe reopening of borders and international travel. The Airport Authority of Hong Kong and the Office of the Government Chief Information Officer are observers to the trial with the airline.
Travel Pass will provide travellers with easy access to Covid-19 entry requirements for their destination and accredited testing centres at their point of departure. The app also enables passengers to link their Covid-19 test results to a digital version of their passport created through the app.
Under the trial, Hong Kong Airlines will work closely with IATA to test its Lab App, a key module in Travel Pass. Passengers on a selected route will be invited to participate by first downloading the app and creating a digital profile before selecting a participating medical service provider for testing, according to a Hong Kong Airlines statement.
A secure, encrypted channel will then enable the registered laboratory to verify the passenger's identity and directly send the outcome of the Covid-19 test, or proof of vaccination to the traveller's mobile device. This will then be checked against IATA's global registry of Covid-19 health requirements, a system used by the majority of airlines and airports globally, to ensure regulatory requirements are complied, before the passenger receives an 'OK to Travel'.
Hong Kong Airlines Director of Service Delivery Mr Chris Birt applauds the customer-oriented digital initiative from IATA, which will help both travellers and airlines manage verifiable health credentials for future travel.
'Hong Kong Airlines has been working hard to make travel safe for our customers. We welcome the opportunity to contribute our inputs into the development of Travel Pass and will continue to support IATA's efforts in leading the recovery of international travel.'
Nick Careen, IATA's senior vice president Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security, said: 'Restarting international aviation safely has been at the forefront of IATA's Travel Pass initiative. We are proud to partner Hong Kong Airlines to trial the app and demonstrate that this technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials.'