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Friday, February 3, 2023

Saudi Arabia accepts IATA Travel Pass

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has welcomed the decision of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) to accept the IATA Travel Pass to certify pre-departure COVID-19 test results for leaving and arriving passengers beginning September 30.

This acceptability will eventually be extended to vaccination certification. Travelers to and from the kingdom will be able to use either the IATA Travel Pass or Tawakkalna, the country’s official health app, which is owned and developed by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA).

IATA Travel Pass is a personal secure digital wallet solution that assists travelers in understanding travel requirements and presenting their verified travel health credentials (vaccine or test certificates) in order to meet COVID-19 entrance limitations.

More than 80 airlines have announced trials of the IATA Travel Pass, and the app has been approved for use by several governments, including Singapore and Panama. Travelers to Saudi Arabia who wish to use the IATA Travel Pass should verify with the airline they are flying with to see if they are eligible.

IATA and Saudi Arabia are collaborating to re-establish international travel. Saudi Arabian Airlines has participated in the creation of the IATA Travel Pass as a trial partner.

In addition, work is being done with GACA and Tawakkalna to develop the IATA Travel Pass as a vehicle for pre-arrival clearance. The IATA Travel Pass will simplify and improve compliance with health regulations for visitors entering the country, as well as contribute to the safe resumption of the travel and tourist business, which is a significant contributor to the country’s economy.

“Our work with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, GACA, Tawakkalna, and Saudi Arabian Airlines reflects our common commitment to restoring secure international aviation travel.” The approval of the IATA Travel Pass by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will demonstrate how digital systems can successfully manage both COVID-19 vaccination and test certificates. “The KSA’s faith in IATA Travel Pass is an example for other governments to follow,” said Willie Walsh, director general of IATA.

“GACA is committed to assisting all stakeholders in easing and facilitating air travel in an efficient and effective manner by adopting best international practices while fully considering ICAO’s CART guidance by our wider country’s authorities in decision-making processes on national recovery planning.

We are dedicated to promoting the use of digital health certificates and restoring international air travel. GACA and SDAIA have collaborated with IATA and Tawakkalna to create a strong framework to help citizens, visitors, and guests of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia navigate their travels.

Furthermore, GACA appreciates the efforts of all stakeholders in the integration with IATA Travel Pass, including Timatic, health travel requirements, and Saudi’s digital platform “Health Pass” by Tawakkalna, which will help to create a common vision for the future of air travel and technologies,” said GACA’s director general, H.E Abdulaziz Al Duailej.

Photo By IATA

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