Over the last 9 months, since COVID-19 transformed the world we live in, there has been widespread discussion within the airline industry around the future of air travel and what airline travel would look like in a post-COVID era.
For the airline industry 2020 was a horrific year with mass redundancies, huge financial losses and a huge reduction in flight capacity. In this part of the world the struggles of Qantas and Air New Zealand are well documented but as we begin 2021, we are starting to see the first glimmer of recovery in the airline industry as airlines start to reopen closed routes and also redefine the guidelines that will become the norm for air travel in 2021 and beyond.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) who supports aviation with global standards for airline safety, security, efficiency and sustainability are at the forefront of global developments around defining the new COVID safety standards.
Student Horizons has been collaborating with IATA in the latter part of 2020 and we were delighted to be welcomed into their family in January 2021, as an accredited travel agent. Becoming recognised by IATA is a major step for us in building a portfolio of industry partnerships that demonstrate our industry credentials.
IATA have been piloting a travel pass programme with Etihad and Emirates airlines. When global travel fully resumes, passengers will be faced with complex and ever changing COVID testing and paperwork requirements. IATA have developed a Travel Pass Digital Health Passport as a solution to ease international travel. The Travel Pass has been developed to gather and collate information from registries for regulatory entry requirements as well as labs and testing centres, verified certificate issuance, and digital identity. The digital passport will allow passengers to share certified, official test results via their smartphones at checkpoints along their travel route.
This is a huge development for the airline industry and a major milestone in readying the industry for the resumption of international travel. We are proud to be part of the IATA family and will follow the pilot scheme with keen interest.
To find out more about the programme visit https://www.iata.org/en/youandiata/travelers/iata-travel-pass-for-travelers/