Subscribe to industry newsletters

Search jobs

Airlink first southern Africa airline to trial Iata digital travel pass

Airlink will become the first carrier in southern Africa to trial the International Air Transport Association's (Iata) Travel Pass, a digital smartphone app for passengers to provide accurate information on their Covid-19 health status and access the entry requirements of any countries they intend visiting.
Image via
Image via Airlink

The Iata Travel Pass is being developed to support the re-opening of borders without quarantine and safely restart international aviation and tourism. It is more secure and efficient than current paper processes used to manage health requirements (the International Certificate of Vaccination or Prophylaxis, for example).

The trial will be carried out on Airlink’s flights between South Africa and Namibia during November 2021.

In the Airlink trials, the Iata Travel Pass will confirm pre-departure, that passengers meet the Covid-19 test requirements for travel with Airlink on flights between South Africa and Namibia.

Eliminating air travel uncertainty

"Airlink is proud to be collaborating with Iata in this crucial initiative. The adoption of secure, digital health solutions such as Iata Travel Pass for verifying Covid-19 test and vaccination certificates as well as pertinent entry requirements is urgently required to eliminate the uncertainty that currently deters international air travel and by extension, business, trade, tourism and the creation of desperately-needed jobs throughout Southern Africa," said Rodger Foster, Airlink CEO and managing director.

"Our collaboration with Airlink and the South African and Namibian authorities demonstrates a shared commitment to provide a digital solution for passengers to manage their health requirements for travel. This will help promote the safe restoration of international air travel within Southern Africa and between the region and its markets in other parts of Africa and around the world.

:Through Iata Travel Pass trials we aim to demonstrate how digital solutions can effectively manage both Covid-19 vaccine and test certificates and set an example for other governments in the region to follow," said Nick Careen, Iata, senior vice president operations, safety and security.

Airlink customers flying on those routes will be able to download the Iata Travel Pass app from the Apple Store or from Google Play. Currently, it can only be used when travelling with airlines participating in the trials.

As this is a trial and subject to adjustments, passengers should still carry printed copies of their negative Covid-19 PCR test results on their journey.

The following laboratories are participating in the trial:

South Africa:

DNAlysis, iMed, Indalo Bio, FlowPath Laboratories, Inception Biosciences and MDS/mi-LabTest in Pinetown and Westville


DiagnoLab and Namib Laboraties Windhoek and Swakopmund

The IATA Travel Pass app provides

• Governments with the means to verify the authenticity of tests or vaccinations and the identity of those presenting their certificates;

• Airlines with the ability to provide accurate information to their passengers on test requirements and verify that a passenger meets the requirements for travel;

• Laboratories with the means to issue certificates to passengers that will be recognized by governments;

• Travelers with accurate information on test requirements, where they can get tested or vaccinated, and the means to securely convey the results/certificates to airlines and border authorities.

Let's do Biz