Malta International AIrport

Responding to the upcoming launch of an International Air Travel Association (IATA) travel app, aviation industry stakeholders revealed to BusinessNow.mt that they were “monitoring developments very closely”.

The aviation industry, decimated by the pandemic, is desperate for its recovery to begin. On Wednesday, Malta International Airport (MIA) revealed a revenue decrease of close to €70 million for 2020, and in recent weeks, Clyde Caruana, Minister for Air Malta revealed the airline is haemorrhaging cash, to the tune of €170,000 a day. 

One proposed way that the aviation industry can take off again is through the introduction of a “vaccine passport” system, which will allow countries to reopen their borders and introduce quarantine-free travel for vaccinated travellers.

The IATA Travel Pass is a proposed tech-based solution for this.

Air Malta CEO David Curmi explained, “IATA has engaged with a number of airlines to implement the IATA Travel Pass. Trials are currently being conducted with Singapore Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, Qatar Airways and Air New Zealand. The plan is to go live in March”, he said. 

Explaining whether Air Malta will participate in the trials, he revealed the airline “is currently monitoring developments very closely and is in discussions with IATA with regards to the finer details of [the app’s] implementation.”

However, he emphasises “the implementation of the use of the IATA Travel Pass must first be endorsed and approved by the Government of Malta and the Maltese Public Health Authorities.”

For its part, MIA told BusinessNow.mt it “welcomes the use of mobile technology as an enabler of the safe reopening of borders, which is crucial to the restart of travel.”

The airport, it said, “together with other stakeholders, has been actively exploring the possibility of introducing new technology, which would allow for a more contactless and seamless travel experience once passenger traffic through the airport picks up”. 

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