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IATA: New boss, Travel Pass final phase, calls for open borders

Group reiterates support of open borders facilitated by compulsory testing

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has unveiled its new leadership team at its 76th Annual General Meeting (AGM), at which it also revealed it is in the final development phase of the IATA Travel Pass. 


Succeeding Alexandre de Juniac, who will step down after five years in the role, former International Airlines Group (IAG) CEO Willie Walsh will become IATA’s eighth Director General from 1 April 2021. 


Image IATA


Taking over from Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes will Chair the IATA Board of Governors (BoG) for an extended two terms (due to the COVID-19 crisis), while SAS Group CEO Rickard Gustafson will serve as BoG Chairman from the conclusion of the 78th IATA AGM in 2022. 


“Associations play a critical role in our industry and none is more important than IATA,” said Mr Walsh. 


“It must be a forceful advocate for the industry — moving forward crisis recovery priorities, ensuring sustainability and helping airlines to survive by lowering costs, reducing taxes and eliminating regulatory blockers to success.” 


Meanwhile, IATA announced that it is in the final development phase of the IATA Travel Pass, a digital health pass that aims to help support the reopening of borders by managing the flow of testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers. 


The Travel Pass end-to-end solution includes a global registry of health requirements, testing and vaccination centres for travellers, lab app for centres to share test and vaccination certificates with passengers, and contactless travel app that enables passengers to create a ‘digital passport’, receive test and vaccination certificates suitable for their itinerary, and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel. 


The launch of the IATA Travel Pass is slated for quarter one 2021. 


“Testing is the first key to enable international travel without quarantine measures.” 


“The second key is the global information infrastructure needed to securely manage, share and verify test data matched with traveller identities in compliance with border control requirements,” IATA Director General and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said. 


“That’s the job of IATA Travel Pass. We are bringing this to market in the coming months to also meet the needs of the various travel bubbles and public health corridors that are starting operation.”


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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 25 November 2020

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