Qantas has this week run its first customer trial of the CommonPass digital health app on its international repatriation flight from Frankfurt to Darwin.
This follows a successful trial with crew last month and comes as the national carrier prepares to support the resumption of COVID-safe international travel from late October.
The CommonPass smartphone app offers a convenient and secure method for verifying COVID test results and vaccination information to border or health officials and airline staff.
The app connects customers to certified testing labs so that results can be uploaded to the platform and customers can show they 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 Australian Government.
Qantas Group Chief Customer Officer Stephanie Tully said a digital health pass would assist airlines and governments globally to facilitate 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 Ms 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.
“During the trial, customers travelling on our international repatriation flights are being invited to download the CommonPass app on their device. Longer term we’d like to integrate the technology with our existing Qantas app so that our customers can manage all parts of their journey in the one place.
“Ultimately we’re focused on ensuring that the process will be as seamless as possible for our customers to share this information so they can travel internationally again.”
The Commons Project Foundation CEO, Paul Meyer, said the CommonPass app enables travellers to access their test results and vaccination records from their healthcare provider.
“As we initiate the upcoming trials with Qantas, we aim to provide Australians with a secure, private and trusted experience as they return to their home country,” said Mr Meyer.
“We look forward to supporting the efforts of Qantas, the Australian government and the nation’s healthcare system to safely reopen the country to international travel.”
CommonPass is one of two digital solutions that Qantas is assessing, alongside the IATA Travel Pass.
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 closely with the Australian Government, airports and industry partners as it progresses through these trials with a common goal of developing secure and seamless solutions.
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.