National carrier Vietnam Airlines has planned the trial acceptance of digital health record solution IATA Travel Pass, which allows medical officers to access the COVID-19 test result and vaccination status of travelers from other countries, on two of their inbound flights from Japan’s Narita Airport to Vietnam’s Da Nang Airport in July.
The IATA Travel Pass trial is the fruit of the partnership agreement that was signed between Vietnam Airlines and the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in May, a Vietnam Airlines representative stated on Friday.
Selected passengers, who must be 18 or above, will be invited to download the IATA Travel Pass app to their mobile phones, create a digital ID comprising their photo and passport information, and fill in flight details to receive information on entry requirements at the destination.
Before departure, passengers will be required to get tested at eligible clinics based on the IATA registry, then share the test results digitally and confirm flight status to the airline ahead of being at the airport.
However, since the program is still on trial in Vietnam, passengers would still need to prepare a hard copy of their test results as normally required for all entrants to Vietnam.
Since early 2020, Vietnam has shut its border to all foreign entrants, except for foreign experts, investors and business managers, who must obtain an entry permit with support from a domestic institution and a negative COVID-19 test certificate that they must present on arrival.
The IATA Travel Pass is considered a safer and more effective solution compared to current paper-based procedures, especially when it comes to a multitude of test and vaccination data that needs securing.
A digital solution that allows COVID-19 test results and proof of vaccinations to be shared cross-border, the IATA Travel Pass has been picked up for trial by some 30 airlines and endorsed by several governments, including Singapore, Panama, and Estonia.
In Vietnam, domestic carriers Bamboo Airways and Vietnam Airlines are working to incorporate the IATA Travel Pass in their aviation protocol.
They are expecting a success for the tryout phase, which would provide the basis for the Vietnamese government to consider reopening borders to international flights in the near future.