Qantas trials digital health pass

The airline has carried out its second trial of an app that stores vaccination and test results for international flight clearance

Qantas has trialled the CommonPass digital health app with customers on an international repatriation flight from Frankfurt to Darwin. It follows a successful crew trial last month and comes as the national carrier prepares for COVID-safe international travel to resume from late October.

The smartphone app verifies COVID test results and vaccination information to border or health officials and airline staff by connecting customers to certified testing labs that upload results to the platform. The flight customers have proof of a negative COVID test result before their flight, which is a requirement on all repatriation flights Qantas is operating on behalf of the government.

Qantas Group chief customer officer, Stephanie Tully, said a digital health pass would help airlines and governments guarantee safe international travel when borders reopen.

“We want to get our international flights back in the air and our people back to work and a digital health pass will be a key part of that,” said Tully.

“COVID test results and proof of vaccine will be required in many countries for quarantine-free travel, just as it has been for polio and yellow fever vaccinations in the past.  Even if it wasn’t a government requirement, Qantas has always been a leader in safety and we have a responsibility to our customers and crew."

As part of the trial, customers on international repatriation flights are being invited to download the CommonPass app on their device. Longer term is looking to integrate the technology into its existing Qantas app. “We’re focused on ensuring that the process will be as seamless as possible for customers to share this information so they can travel internationally again,” Tully added.

The Federal Government announced last month that vaccination certificates will be issued and made available through the Medicare and MyGov apps. Qantas is working on solutions for customers to elect to have this medical information integrated with their clearance to travel in a secure way and in accordance with global privacy regulations.

Qantas recently announced it was planning to restart regular international passenger flights to most of its pre-COVID destinations from 31 October 2021. The national carrier is working with the government, airports and industry partners as it progresses through these trials with a common goal of developing secure and seamless solutions.

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