The Wrap: Emirates Expands IATA Travel Pass Implementation, SIA Group Launches Carbon Offset Program, and More …
THE Wrap is a roundup of news in the travel and tech industries, and an update on how companies in these industries are adapting and resetting as they prepare for post-travel travel. pandemic.
Emirates extends IATA Travel Pass to 10 cities
Emirates has accelerated the implementation of the IATA Travel Pass, offering it to customers traveling in 10 cities and plans to roll it out across its global network in the coming weeks.
Emirates customers departing from Dubai to London, Barcelona, Madrid, Istanbul, New York JFK, Moscow, Frankfurt, Charles De Gaulle and Amsterdam can use the digital solution / application to access PCR testing labs, as well as manage documentation such as vaccination and Covid test results.
Passengers on these flights will receive an SMS and an email with the activation code and instructions for downloading the app.
The Dubai-based carrier has also partnered with Alhosn, the official app of the United Arab Emirates for contact tracing and health documentation of Covid. The app is a joint initiative of the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention and local health authorities, and is approved by the National Authority for Emergency and Crisis Management.
From July, Emirates will integrate the Alhosn app into its check-in systems, expanding its existing integration with the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). Customers traveling from the United Arab Emirates will be able to collect and verify their Covid medical records, regardless of where in the United Arab Emirates they had their vaccination, or PCR and antigen tests.
“Over the past few months, we have really accelerated our biometric, contactless and digital travel verification projects to provide our customers with even more comfort and assurance when traveling with Emirates,” said Adel Al Redha, Emirates COO.
“From our biometric journey at Dubai International to initiatives such as the IATA Travel Pass and integrations with health authority databases, these projects offer multiple benefits: a better customer experience, reduced paper usage and efficiency and improved reliability in verifications of travel documents. “
The SIA Group is committed to environmental protection and launches a carbon offset program
Customers of Singapore Airlines and Scoot can offset carbon emissions on the respective airlines’ microsites at any time before or after a flight. Business customers will be able to participate in the program from Q4 2021.
Customers can also choose to use their KrisFlyer miles and HighFlyer points to offset carbon emissions from the fourth quarter of this year.
The two airlines will match the compensation that these customers purchase for the first six months from the launch of this program.
Customers can calculate and offset the emissions associated with their journey through the digital BlueHalo solution, developed by Australian company Tasman Environmental Markets.
The carbon offset projects of the contributions include the preservation of forests in Indonesia and the protection of endangered species such as the orangutan; building renewable solar energy projects across India that generate renewable electricity; and providing efficient, clean-burning cooking stoves that reduce smoke pollution for villagers in Nepal.
The SIA group said these projects “have a proven and measurable impact on communities and the environment”.
Malaysia Airports to Open Covid-19 Screening Facility at KLIA
Announcing this in a statement, MAHB said five would be located at KLIA’s main terminal and three at klia2 budget terminal. This facility is one of many improvements it is implementing “to improve comfort and convenience while respecting the necessary travel security protocols at the airport.”
Services provided include escorting passengers from the arrival gate to the test area, VIP service and waiting rooms equipped with computers, WiFi, portable WiFi rental, as well as F&B offers. Passengers also have options for various payment platforms such as credit card, cash, online transfer, electronic payment, and insurance claim.
Wait times for test results are shorter as the new facility is capable of producing Covid-19 RTK and RT-PCR results in 15 minutes and three hours respectively.
MAHB Group Managing Director Dato ‘Mohd Shukrie Mohd Salleh said security is the “top priority” and the company has engaged with the respective authorities to ensure that the designated service provider is sanctioned by the ministry. Health to provide such services.
“We are confident that this new facility will go a long way in boosting travel demand once the borders reopen. … The new facility is expected to accommodate around 40,000 passengers per day, which will sufficiently cater for international arrivals at both terminals as traffic resumes.
The MAHB said more service providers will be appointed at other international airports once the necessary approvals are obtained.
APAC Airlines International Traffic Stagnates, Freight Demand Solid
More than a year after the start of the pandemic, airlines in the Asia-Pacific region are still reporting depressed levels of international passenger traffic volumes due to strict border restrictions amid concerns over the spread of Covid-19 variants.
Preliminary traffic figures for May 2021 published by the Asia-Pacific Airlines Association (AAPA) showed that only 1.3 million international passengers flew on carriers in the region during this month, only 4.3% of the volumes carried in the corresponding month of 2019. The occupancy factor of International passengers averaged 28.4% for the month, with available seat capacity at 12.3% of 2019 levels.
Air freight, however, has fared better as strong business and consumer demand globally has boosted demand for air freight. For the month, international air freight demand (measured in freight tonne-kilometers) grew 23.1% year-on-year. The average load factor of international freight increased by 11.7 percentage points to 73.7%.
AAPA chief executive Subhas Menon said air cargo volumes carried by APAC carriers had largely returned to pre-pandemic volumes. “This contrasts sharply with the depressed state of international passenger traffic, which has remained largely stagnant with no improvement observed for over a year.”
He attributed the uneven pace of vaccinations across the world to the delay in resuming international air travel. “In some advanced economies, travel markets are slowly recovering as populations get vaccinated and business resumes. However, the same cannot be said for the majority of emerging market economies in Asia where vaccination deployment remains slow due to supply constraints, logistical issues and limited manpower. As a result, the travel and tourism sectors in the region have continued to suffer as strict border controls remain in place. “
Renewed concerns about the emergence of new variants of Covid have also held back any reopening of borders. “This will have a negative impact on the survival of the airlines, and additional government support will likely be needed as the crisis continues,” Menon said.
• Featured image credit (IATA Travel Pass): IATA