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Covid-19: Saudi Arabian Airlines to introduce IATA Travel Pass, KL-Jeddah route picked for trial

Covid-19: Saudi Arabian Airlines to introduce IATA Travel Pass, KL-Jeddah route picked for trial
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 14): Saudi Arabian Airlines (SAUDIA) said it will introduce the Covid-19-driven IATA Travel Pass on its network, starting first with a trial that is set to take place on the Kuala Lumpur – Jeddah route on Monday (April 19) to support IATA’s aim to safely reopen borders and assist the aviation industry's recovery from the pandemic's impact.

In a statement on Monday (April 12), SAUDIA said the IATA Travel Pass is a mobile app that will enable passengers to create digital passports where test and vaccine data can be securely loaded and shared, to ensure that governmental health requirements are fulfilled both at the departure and destination points.

"SAUDIA will begin to introduce the IATA Travel Pass on its network, starting first with a trial that is set to take place on the Kuala Lumpur – Jeddah route later this month, on April 19. Guests travelling with SAUDIA will be able to visit a designated laboratory in Malaysia to complete PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test requirements, which can then be uploaded on the IATA Travel App for use in onward travel to Saudi Arabia.

"SAUDIA is among the world’s leading airlines to partner with IATA on this robust initiative that will assist in helping in providing seamless travel free of the hassles faced by passengers as they cross the borders. Following the trial, once the IATA Travel Pass is finalised, it will be rolled out across the airline’s network,” SAUDIA said.

At the time of writing today, Malaysia Airports Holdings Bhd (MAHB) has not issued a statement in response to SAUDIA’s planned IATA Travel Pass trial during Kuala Lumpur – Jeddah flight on Monday (April 19).

MAHB, however, said in a March 31, 2021 statement that the airport operator continues to raise its safety standards in curbing the Covid-19 pandemic by having its airports undergo the Airports Council International health assessment through its Airport Health Accreditation programme.

"The seven airports that have been rigorously assessed include KL International Airport, Penang International Airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport, Kuching International Airport, Langkawi International Airport, Subang Airport and Malaysia Airports’ wholly-owned Istanbul Sabiha Gokcen International Airport (ISG) in Turkey,” MAHB said.

Chong Jin Hun