MADRID (Reuters) – Spain’s Amadeus is launching a feature allowing people to upload documents such as COVID-19 vaccination certificates onto an airline app or website, as the travel industry scrambles for ways to get planes flying again.
The private and public sectors of tourism-dependent countries such as Spain, Italy and Greece have sought a unified response to the patchwork of health requisites, bans and quarantines which have grounded global travel. Amadeus said on Tuesday its system, which will be hosted within an existing platform for storing identification data, is due to be deployed in the second quarter.
It will allow passengers to upload certificates or results from PCR or serological tests into any airline’s mobile app or website as part of the check-in process and cut down on the need for costly manual checks.
“The current need to hand-verify health documents while maintaining social distance means that some of our airline customers need around 90% of their check-in staff to process just 30% of passengers,” Monika Wiederhold, global lead for safe travel at Amadeus, said in a statement.
Global airline body IATA said last month it would have a COVID-19 travel pass ready by the end of March, while British Airways said in January it would trial mobile health passports on some flights.
The European Union has said it would roll out its own “digital green pass” in time for the summer.
While Amadeus did not say which airlines or airports it would provide the service to, a spokeswoman said that it would be available to their more than 770,000 hotel customers.
Tourism Minister Maroto Reyes said last week that Spain would conduct its own pilot to trial so-called vaccine passports ahead of the summer, when it hopes to attract inoculated British tourists who currently are not allowed to travel to Spain.
She said the Balearic and Canary Islands were possible locations for the test-run of such digital health passports.
(Reporting by Clara-Laeila Laudette; Editing by Andrei Khalip and Alexander Smith)