The International Air Transport Association (IATA) plans to launch its IATA Travel Pass in March 2021, Al-Ittihad newspaper reported, citing Muhammad Albakri, IATA's Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East.
He added that the association is currently testing the mobile app in cooperation with Etihad Airways, Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways, indicating that after the launch of the first version, another one including more updates will be introduced in April.
The move will support the re-open of borders and safe resumption of the aviation sector's operations, especially as the app is based on information security, ease of use and verification of information, Albakri said.
He added that this safe app includes documented health information about passengers, such as checks and vaccinations, which supports and accelerates the resumption of operations at the aviation sector.
The Middle East airlines recorded the biggest decline of 72.9% in travel demand, due to reliance on long-term international routes which are still almost closed.
Meanwhile, the Middle East transportation firms showed better performance in December 2020, recording a 2.3% growth in international demand, Albakri said, noting that the region's airlines received fewer aircraft in 2020, which is 44% lower than 2019.
IATA forecast demand for international travel to improve by 50.4% in 2021 compared with a year earlier, which will boost the industry levels to 50.6% compared to the pre-COVID-19 era.