More stories

  • in

    IATA integrates EU and UK Covid-19 certificates into Travel Pass

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that the EU Digital Covid-19 Certificate (DCC) and UK NHS Covid-19 Pass can now be uploaded into IATA Travel Pass.
    Both act as verified proof of vaccination for travel.
    Travelers holding an EU DCC or UK NHS Covid Pass can now access accurate Covid-19 travel information for their journey, create an electronic version of their passport and import their vaccination certificate in one place.
    This information can be shared with airlines and border control authorities who can have the assurance that the certificate presented to them is genuine and belongs to the person presenting it.
    “Covid-19 vaccination certificates are becoming a widespread requirement for international travel. ADVERTISEMENT“Handling the European and UK certificates through IATA Travel Pass is an important step forward, providing convenience for travellers, authenticity for governments and efficiency for airlines,” said Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president for operations safety and security. 
    Harmonisation of digital vaccine standards is essential to support the safe and scalable restart of aviation, avoid unnecessary airport queues and ensure a smooth passenger experience, IATA argues.
    The body said it welcomes the work done by the EU Commission in developing, in record time, the EU DCC system and thereby standardising digital vaccine certificates across Europe.
    Building on the EU DCC success, IATA urges the World Health Organisation (WHO) to revisit its work to develop a global digital vaccine standard.
    “The absence of a global standard makes it much harder for airlines, border authorities and governments to recognise and verify a traveller’s digital vaccination certificate.
    “The industry is working around this by developing solutions that can recognise and verify certificates from individual countries.
    “But this is a slow process that is hampering the restart of international travel,” said Careen.
    He added: “As more states roll out their vaccination programs, many are urgently looking to implement technical solutions to provide vaccine certification for their citizens when they travel.
    “In the absence of a WHO standard, IATA urges them to look closely at the EU DCC as a proven solution that meets WHO guidance and can help to reconnect the world.”

    The Balmoral launches Scotch Club in Edinburgh

    Ouachani to lead Hilton New York City Chelsea More

  • in

    IATA criticises European Commission slot decision

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has branded a European Commission decision to set the winter slot use threshold at 50 per cent as “out of touch with reality”.
    The trade body argued that the commission had ignored the advice and evidence presented by member states and the airline industry, which had made the case for a much lower threshold.
    The announcement means that, from November to April, airlines operating at slot-regulated airports must use at least half of every single series of slots they hold.
    There is no alleviation to hand back slots at the start of the season allowing airlines to match their schedule to realistic demand or enable other carriers to operate, IATA argued.
    Additionally, the rule on ‘force majeure’, by which the slot rule is suspended if exceptional circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic are in effect, has been switched off for intra-EU operations.ADVERTISEMENTThe result of these changes will be to restrict the ability of airlines to operate with the agility needed to respond to unpredictable and rapidly changing demand, leading to environmentally wasteful and unnecessary flights.
    “Once again the commission has shown they are out of touch with reality.
    “The airline industry is still facing the worst crisis in its history.
    “The commission had an open goal to use the slots regulation to promote a sustainable recovery for airlines, but they missed.
    “Instead, they have shown contempt for the industry, and for the many member states that repeatedly urged a more flexible solution, by stubbornly pursuing a policy that is contrary to all the evidence presented to them,” said Willie Walsh, IATA director general.
    The commission argue that the intra-EU traffic recovery this summer justified a 50 per cent use threshold with no alleviation.

    Norwegian Cruise Line returns to operation in Greece

    Heathrow continues to feel full force of Covid-19 More

  • in

    Finnair latest to join IATA Travel Pass trials

    Finnair has started trials of IATA Travel Pass on its Heathrow to Helsinki route.
    The trial is taking place until August 11th on flights in both directions between London and the Finnish capital.
    It becomes the latest airline to trial IATA Travel Pass, which has gained in popularity throughout the commercial aviation sector.
    IATA Travel Pass is a smartphone-based initiative which uses mobile technology to make it easier for airline customers to manage all their proof of Covid-19 certificate status in one handy app, upon departure and arrival.ADVERTISEMENTAs well as making the flight less stressful, the app will also update customers with the most accurate and up-to-date information on various travel requirements for any pending journeys.
    Ole Orvér, Finnair chief commercial officer, said: “The app is currently on trial in both directions from our hub in Helsinki to London, and we look forward to hearing our customers’ thoughts on the new solution to decide our next steps with it.
    “We are also exploring other digital solutions to ease travelling and coronavirus related travel document management.”
    IATA app allows travellers to receive, store and manage any verified Covid-19 certificates securely, giving them reassurance and support for travel.
    In the future, the app will enable customers to navigate their way through airports and board their flight more quickly and efficiently.
    It will do this by ensuring customers avoid the additional burden of travel document hassle – providing a smoother customer experience for regular travellers.

    easyJet to offer Morocco connection from Glasgow this winter

    Brittany Ferries to welcome two new LNG-electric ships More

  • in

    IATA urges global governments to adopt WHO travel rules

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on states to follow new guidance on travel from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
    The guidance recommends a “risk-based approach” to implementing measures related to Covid-19 and international travel.
    Specifically, WHO recommended that governments:

    Do not require proof of Covid-19 vaccination as a mandatory condition for entry or exit.
    May relax measures such as testing and/or quarantine requirements for travellers who are fully vaccinated or have had a confirmed previous Covid-19 infection within the past six months and are no longer infectious.
    Ensure alternative pathways for unvaccinated individuals through testing so that they are able to travel internationally. The WHO recommends rRT-PCR tests, or antigen detection rapid diagnostic tests (Ag-RDTs) followed by confirmatory rRT-PCR tests of positive samples, for this purpose.
    Implement test and/or quarantine measures for international travellers “on a risk-based manner” with policies on testing and quarantine regularly reviewed to ensure they are lifted when no longer necessary.

    “These common sense, risk-based recommendations from WHO, if followed by states, will allow for international air travel to resume while minimizing the chance of importing Covid-19.
    “As the WHO notes – and as the latest UK testing data proves –  international travellers are not a high-risk group in terms of Covid-19. ADVERTISEMENT“Out of 1.65 million tests carried out on arriving international passengers in the UK since February, only 1.4 per cent were positive for Covid-19.
    “It’s long past time for governments to incorporate data into risk-based decision-making process for re-opening borders,” said Willie Walsh, IATA director general.
    WHO also called on states to communicate “in a timely and adequate manner” any changes to international health-related measures and requirements.
    “Consumers face a maze of confusing, uncoordinated and fast-changing border entry rules that discourage them from traveling, causing economic hardship across those employed in the travel and tourism sector.
    “According to our latest passenger survey, 70 per cent of recent travellers thought the rules were a challenge to understand,” said Walsh.
    Additionally, WHO encouraged states to look at bilateral, multilateral, and regional agreements, particularly among neighbouring counties, “with the aim of facilitating the recovery of key socioeconomic activities” including tourism, for which international travel plays a vital role.

    Delta Air Lines returns to profit in second quarter More

  • in

    IATA warns testing costs may deter travellers

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has called on governments to ensure that high costs for Covid-19 testing do not put travel out of reach for individuals and families.
    To facilitate an efficient restart of international travel, Covid-19 testing must be affordable as well as timely, widely available and effective, the body argued.
    An IATA sampling of costs for PCR tests (the test most frequently required by governments) in 16 countries showed wide variations by markets and within markets.
    Even taking the average of the low-end costs, adding PCR testing to average airfares would dramatically increase the cost of flying for individuals.
    Pre-crisis, the average one-way airline ticket, including taxes and charges, cost $200 (2019 data). ADVERTISEMENTA $90 PCR test raises the cost by 45 per cent to $290.
    Add another test on arrival and the one-way cost would leap by 90 per cent to $380.
    Assuming that two tests are needed in each direction, the average cost for an individual return-trip could balloon from $400 to $760.
    The impact of the costs of Covid-19 testing on family travel would be even more severe.
    Based on average ticket prices ($200) and average low-end PCR testing ($90) twice each way, a journey for four that would have cost $1,600 pre-Covid, could nearly double to $3,040 – with $1440 being testing costs.
    Source: IATA
    “As travel restrictions are lifted in domestic markets, we are seeing strong demand.
    “The same can be expected in international markets.
    “But that could be perilously compromised by testing costs – particularly PCR testing.
    “Raising the cost of any product will significantly stifle demand.
    “The impact will be greatest for short-haul trips (up to 1,100 km), with average fares of $105, the tests will cost more than the flight,” said Willie Walsh, IATA director general.

    No return for P&O Cruises Australia before September

    Virtual Caribbean Travel Marketplace to return next month More

  • in

    IATA: Aviation sector continues to deteriorate

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has found that passenger traffic fell in February, both compared to pre-Covid-19 levels in February 2019, and to the immediate month prior, January this year.
    Because comparisons between 2021 and 2020 monthly results are distorted by the extraordinary impact of Covid-19, unless otherwise noted all comparisons are to February 2019, which followed a normal demand pattern.
    Total demand for air travel in February 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) was down 75 per cent compared to February 2019.
    That was worse than the 72 per cent decline recorded in January this year versus two years ago.
    International passenger demand in February was 89 per cent below February 2019, a further drop from the 86 per cent year-to-year decline recorded in January and the worst growth outcome since July 2020. ADVERTISEMENTPerformance in all regions worsened compared to January 2021.
    Total domestic demand was down 51 per cent versus pre-crisis (February 2019) levels.
    In January it was down 48 per cent on the 2019 period.
    This largely was owing to weakness in China travel, driven by government requests that citizens stay at home during the Lunar New Year travel period.
    “February showed no indication of a recovery in demand for international air travel.
    “In fact, most indicators went in the wrong direction as travel restrictions tightened in the face of continuing concerns over new coronavirus variants.
    “An important exception was the Australian domestic market.
    “A relaxation of restrictions on domestic flying resulted in significantly more travel.
    “This tells us that people have not lost their desire travel.
    “They will fly, provided they can do so without facing quarantine measures,” said Willie Walsh, IATA director general.

    Virgin Voyages headed to Portsmouth this summer

    Carnival reports $2bn loss as return gathers pace More

  • in

    IATA: Aviation is moving from bad to worse

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has announced that passenger traffic fell in January 2021.
    The figures are down both compared to pre-Covid levels, January 2019, and compared to the immediate month prior, December 2020.
    Total demand in January 2021 (measured in revenue passenger kilometres or RPKs) was down 72 per cent compared to January 2019.
    That was worse than the 70 per cent year-over-year decline recorded in December 2020.
    Total domestic demand was down 47 per cent versus pre-crisis, January 2019, levels.


    In December it was down 43 per cent on the previous year.
    This weakening is largely driven by stricter domestic travel controls in China over the Lunar New Year holiday period.
    International passenger demand in January was 86 per cent below January 2019, a further drop compared to the 85 per cent year-to-year decline recorded in December.
    “This year is starting off worse than 2020 ended and that is saying a lot.
    “Even as vaccination programs gather pace, new Covid-19 variants are leading governments to increase travel restrictions.
    “The uncertainty around how long these restrictions will last also has an impact on future travel.
    “Forward bookings in February this year for the northern Hemisphere summer travel season were 78 per cent below levels in February 2019,” said Alexandre de Juniac, IATA chief executive.
    Saxon Hotel to reopen in South Africa in May

    Hertz Global unveils plans to relaunch this summer More

  • in

    IATA prepares to debut Travel Pass as aviation looks to reopen

    The International Air Transport Association (IATA) expects its digital Covid Travel Pass will be ready for use “within weeks”.
    The pass – which was originally unveiled in December – is designed to verify a passenger has had the Covid-19 tests or vaccines required to enter a country.
    It also verifies they were administered by an approved authority.
    The industry body sees the pass as essential for reopening air travel, as many countries still have strict restrictions or quarantines in place.
    “The key issue is one of confidence,” Vinoop Goel, IATA regional director of airports and external relations, said.
    “Passengers need to be confident that the testing they have taken is accurate and will allow them to enter the country.


    “Then governments need to have the confidence that the tests that the passengers claim to have is one which is accurate and meets their own conditions.”
    IATA said the Travel Pass – which it is preparing alongside Etihad and a number of other carriers – is designed in a modular way, so that it can work with other digital solutions that are being trialled around the world.
    British Airways, for example, is working on a separate, but compatible, VeriFLY solution.
    IATA said the Travel Pass will be available on iOS and Android platforms, and is expected to be free to passengers.
    “We are building the IATA Travel Pass with one aim – to help reconnect our world safely.
    “IATA has brought advancements in global standards like e-ticketing and mobile boarding passes to consumers in all parts of the world.
    “This unique capability demonstrates that we can work with industry and governments to re-shape travel processes based on global standards,” said Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president, airport, passenger, cargo and security.
    Brown to join American Airlines board

    Air New Zealand to trial health passport on Sydney route More