IATA has announced a partnership with European medical diagnostic services provider Synlab to facilitate safe and easy travel. The two partners have signed an agreement to incorporate Synlab’s extensive lab network into the IATA Travel Pass.
This will enable airline passengers to access Synlab’s broad and secure Covid-19 testing services, benefiting from its international capabilities. Synlab and IATA are building upon valuable experience gained during a successful pilot project for passenger testing in Columbia over the course of the past months.
The IATA Travel Pass allows passengers to locate authorised laboratories at departure locations to get tested for SARS-CoV-2 as required by border and health authorities. After testing, Synlab will provide passengers with their certified test results directly through the pass. The app checks the result against the IATA Travel Pass registry of national entry requirements to produce an “OK to Travel” status. Through the app passengers can share their status and the digital test certificates with authorities and airlines to facilitate travel.
Commenting on the partnership, Synlab CEO Mathieu Floreani said: “We are pleased to partner with IATA to make travelling as safe as possible. At a time when people around the world are resuming air travel and different variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus are spreading, testing remains crucial. Testing is a central pillar in monitoring and controlling the pandemic to prevent the spread of the virus. As the market leader in Europe for PCR testing, we have conducted 18 million PCR tests since the outbreak of the pandemic, underlining our strong expertise in this incredibly relevant field.”
IATA director general Willie Walsh added: “Verified Covid-19 testing is critical to restore the freedom to travel for people who are not vaccinated. The IATA Travel Pass aims to make it as simple as possible for travellers to locate certified labs and securely receive the test results that governments require for entry. Adding Synlab’s extensive lab network will help travellers more easily ensure that they meet their Covid-19 travel requirements.”
Two weeks ago, IATA released the World Air Transport Statistics (WATS) publication with performance figures for 2020, demonstrating the devastating effects on global air transport due to the Covid-19 crisis. The main findings included the fact that only 1.8 billion passengers flew in 2020, a decrease of 60.2 per cent compared to the 4.5 billion who flew the previous year.