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Singapore Airlines testing new digital health verification process

Aviation Updates Philippines – Singapore Airlines recently started conducting trials of its new digital health verification process that would allow customers to secure and store their COVID-19 test and vaccination information for future use.

Image: Singapore Airlines Airbus A350 (Image Credit: Singapore Airlines Group) 

Based on the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Travel Pass framework, customers who take their COVID-19 tests will get a digital or paper certificate with QR code at select clinics. Upon check-in, airport staff would verify the authenticity of the certificates using a secure mobile app.

At present, the Singaporean-flag carrier is conducting the trials on flights departing Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur for Singapore. If successful, the airline plans to extend the service to other Singapore Airlines' destinations. It also plans to integrate the process onto its SingaporeAir mobile app by mid-2021.

The verification process apps were developed by Temasek-founded technology company Affinidi. Singapore Airlines is also working with Singapore-based partners and government offices such as the Singapore Ministry of Transport, Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) and the Changi Airport Group (CAG) during the trials for the eventual restoration of a “seamless travel experience for its customers.”

In a statement, Singapore Airlines stated: “This is a faster and more secure way to validate a passenger’s health credentials than the existing protocols, speeding up both the airport check-in process and the immigration entry process into Singapore. It would make it easier for SIA customers to control their information, reduce friction during their travel journey, and result in a more seamless experience with the aid of digital technologies in the new normal.”

Singapore Airlines' Acting Senior VP for Marketing/Planning JoAnn Tan said: “Covid-19 tests and vaccinations will be an integral part of air travel for the foreseeable future. We are offering a digital solution that allows the easy and secure verification of this information, and supports the industry’s safe and calibrated recovery from this pandemic. Using IATA’s robust Travel Pass framework would also provide our customers and governments with the assurance that they need about the security and authenticity of the test and vaccination information.”

With Singapore Airlines being the first airline to introduce the technology based on IATA's Travel Pass framework, IATA's Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, Security Nick Careen further added: “Partnering with Singapore Airlines for the world’s first deployment of the Timatic Covid-19 module of the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward. Together we will demonstrate that people can return to travel with confidence that they are meeting all government Covid-19 entry requirements. We already have plans to add additional features in the New Year. This will help ensure that SIA’s customers will be among the first to benefit as governments re-open their borders with testing or vaccination requirements. And the experience gained through collaboration helps prepare for the eventual global deployment of the IATA Travel Pass.”

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