The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of the first countries to accept The International Air Transport Association’s (IATA) Travel Pass, which works as a personal secure digital wallet solution to help travellers understand travel requirements and present their verified travel health credentials (vaccine or test certificates) to meet COVID-19 entry restrictions. The Travel Pass will confirm pre-departure COVID-19 test results for departing and arriving passengers starting September 30, and this acceptance will eventually be expanded to vaccine certification. It is set to simplify and enhance compliance with health requirements for travellers entering the Kingdom and contribute to the safe restart of the travel and tourism industry, an important contributor to the country’s economy.
The decision means travellers to/from KSA will have the choice of using either the IATA Travel Pass or Tawakkalna, the country’s national health app, owned and developed by Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority. However, travellers to Saudi Arabia intending to use the IATA Travel Pass should check with the airline they are travelling with for eligibility to use it.
IATA has welcomed the pronouncement the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) made. The association that represents some 290 airlines comprising 82 percent of global air traffic and the Kingdom are working comprehensively to restore international travel conveniently and safely. Saudi Arabian Airlines has been a trial partner in the development of the IATA Travel Pass, and work is progressing with GACA and Tawakkalna for it to be a vehicle for pre-arrival clearance for KSA.
“Our collaboration with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, GACA, Tawakkalna and Saudi Arabian Airlines demonstrates a shared commitment to restore international air travel safely,” Willie Walsh, IATA’s Director General, said. “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s acceptance of IATA Travel Pass will demonstrate how digital solutions can effectively manage both COVID-19 vaccine and test certificates. The trust that the KSA has placed in the IATA Travel Pass is an example for other governments to follow.”
Over 80 airlines have announced trials of the IATA Travel Pass and the app is accepted for entry by a number of governments including Singapore and Panama.