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Health testing will build trust


FRANKFURT, 12 November 2020: Governments must adopt passenger testing and health pass technology according to the three global airline alliances Oneworld, SkyTeam and Star Alliance.

They came out in full support of the conclusions written into the  International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) second-phase Council on Aviation Recovery Task Force (CART) report that was released on Monday.

The three largest airline alliances are urging governments to implement the report’s guidelines for passenger testing protocols urgently and have called for the adoption of digital health pass technology, so air travel may safely resume.

Government-imposed travel and entry restrictions continue to impact on global travel demand, and there are fears that the travel and hospitality industry is facing a total collapse in 2021 unless there is a change of direction on travel restrictions.

The three airline alliances argue that Covid-19 testing has emerged as an important part of an end-to-end solution to enable the safe restart of international travel by potentially reducing the reliance on the blunt instrument of blanket quarantines.

“We welcome the publication of the updated CART report which, among other things, calls for the serious consideration of screening and testing as a means for easing travel and border restrictions, and reviving the travel and tourism industry and the global economy,” said Star Alliance CEO Jeffrey Goh.

“A robust protocol for testing will also provide further evidence to demonstrate that air travel is not a material cause for

infections and will pave the way for a framework of trust to be established between countries.”

On behalf of their 58 member airlines, representing over 60% of world airline capacity and carrying over 1.87 billion passengers annually prior to the Covid-19 crisis, the three alliances are calling for a harmonised approach to testing that will form the foundation of a trust framework, as recommended by the ICAO guidelines.

SkyTeam CEO Kristin Colvile said: “Testing regimes and trials of digital health passes have identified an effective means to restoring confidence and reopening borders, complementing the layer upon layer of passenger safety measures already implemented by airlines and airports worldwide. Aviation supports millions of jobs around the world and drives international commerce, trade and tourism. Urgent action

is needed to adopt testing and technology to mitigate COVID risks and safely and quickly revive international air travel.”

The recent digital ‘health pass’ trials, such as Common Pass, are presenting a strong case for using digital technology to deliver harmonised standards in the validation and verification of accredited passenger health data. The alliances support technical solutions that provide a consistent, scalable and affordable way to declare passenger

health data that is simple to implement as part of the customer journey, with processes initiated pre-travel to reduce passenger inconvenience at airports.

Oneworld CEO Rob Gurney added: “With extensive travel restrictions creating much uncertainty for customers, testing can play a role in enabling the safe restart of travel. Any solution used in declaring passenger health data should be consistent, scalable and cost-effective – this will provide clarity and confidence to customers, airlines and

other stakeholders as international travel resume.”


  1. Testing before and on arrival is the only way to get the show back on the road. It should be very easy to have a universal health pass invented and at very little cost. I really don’t know why airport arrivals and departures are not tested . Surely it’s a small price to pay for saving millions of jobs the world over ? Maybe all the airlines and experts should get together and do a think tank on which method would be the easiest and most effective for all ? And in the shortest time possible. With laboratories etc all working over the internet it shouldn’t be that hard.

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