Air New Zealand has confirmed that a wireless vaccine passport will be checked from April on flights between Auckland and Sydney.
The Travel Pass app trial, established by the International Air Transport Association, will allow travelers to create a digital health wallet connected to their passport.
The laboratory will safely send the information to the app after they have been screened or vaccinated, which is then cross-checked against the travel criteria for the country they were hoping to visit.
Jennifer Sepull, chief digital officer of Air New Zealand, likened the use of the app to a “digital health certificate that can be easily and securely shared with airlines”
“Reassuring customers that travel is, in fact, safe is one of our priorities. By using the app, customers can have confidence that everyone onboard meets the same government health requirements they do,” she said.
“By having a place to store all your health credentials digitally in one place, it will not only speed up the check-in process but unlock the potential for contactless travel.”
Once the app was available in April, the airline said the trial would run for three weeks, and aircrew and customers would be encouraged to participate.
Air New Zealand claimed that no centralized database containing personal passenger information existed and that it was shared with airlines at their discretion.
The IATA said the app will also include data on the health and entry conditions of a country, testing locations and vaccination centers.
In a tweet, the government looked forward to evaluating the findings of the NZ trial, a federal Department of Health spokesperson said.
“The Australian government is supportive of ways to ensure the safety of the Australian community through the efficient collection and verification of traveller data whilst adhering to strict privacy provisions,” the spokesperson said.
Stuart Robert, Minister of Government Services, said earlier this month that the federal government was participating in the vaccine passport working group of the World Health Organization and with other governments to ensure interoperability.
He said four leading rivals operated on vaccination passports, including the Travel Pass, an IBM app, and the American company Clear’s Health Pass, which was used at airports throughout the United States.
The government has announced that Australians will be able to view their COVID-19 vaccination records on their mobile, which will be logged into the national immunization registry and then made available on the MyGov website or via the Medicare app.
In November, Alan Joyce, chief executive of Qantas, said the company was looking at digital health pass options, as well as making it compulsory for passengers to confirm that they are COVID-19 vaccinated before boarding flights to or from Australia.