Iberia was the first to use IATA’s health passport for South America

Spanish airline Iberia will become the first airline to start a live journey with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) between the European and Latin American routes. In addition, Iberia is the second operator to announce the use of a digital health passport in Latin America after the Copa Airlines in Panama.

Iberia will try out IATA’s Travel Pass on a flight between Madrid and Montevideo in Uruguay. Photo: Iberia

What do we know?

Today, Iberia issued a statement announcing its work with IATA on the development of the Travel Pass. The Spanish carrier will launch a digital health passport on a flight that runs on April 10 between Madrid and Montevideo in Uruguay.

Iberia added,

“Passengers flying from Madrid to Montevideo on IB6011 next Saturday, April 10, will be the first to test this new app. Iberia sent them all an email inviting them to get an IATA travel ticket. ”

Iberian passengers will need to follow five directions on the airline’s website.

First, they must fill out a registration form; then wait for a personalized call from IATA to create an in-app account and link it to your passport.

The third step is to schedule an appointment for the COVID-19 test at any of the listed test centers. Then wait for the results to be verified by IATA and ensure that they meet Uruguay’s requirements for documents.

Finally, at the airport, the passenger will only show the IATA Travel Pass message “OK to Travel” and be ready to fly.

Iberia will be the first airline to try out the Travel Pass between Europe and Latin America. Photo: Iberia

IATA Travel Pass in Latin America

So far, 24 airlines around the world are testing the IATA Travel Pass. Some countries have even approved the use of IATA’s health passport, starting in May, such as Singapore.

Meanwhile, many countries and airlines are considering other options. For example, the Biden administration is developing guidelines for vaccine passports in the United States, and thus in the European Union. Airlines such as British Airways use the VeriFLY app.

Latin America, however, is left without health passports. Only one Latin American carrier has signed to use IATA’s Travel Pass, and that is Copa Airlines.

Although Copa announced back in February that it would team up with IATA to try a medical passport, the airline did not release further announcements. We contacted Copa for status on the program, but received no response.

The role of health passports in reopening borders

The COVID-19 pandemic has crippled international travel. The lack of consistency of measures in governments around the world has made travelers very concerned about traveling far. Therefore, the aviation industry does not expect a real recovery in international travel by 2023 and 2024, depending on the destination, according to Oliver Wyman’s economic analysis.

But the use of health passports, like IATA, can change this battle in advance. In a statement, Gabriel Perdiguero, Director of Customer, Transformation and Systems of Iberia, said,

“With our key safety concern, we are counting on technology to reopen borders, encourage travel and return to normal as soon as possible. We are confident that a digital health passport will play a key role in this endeavor and that it is the right way to facilitate people’s movement by providing customers with a simpler, faster and more contactless experience at the airport. “

He added that a great effort of all players is needed to reopen the tourism industry. Interoperability is needed to build secure platforms and use the most advanced technology.

Are you willing to use IATA’s travel ticket? Let us know in the comments.