If there's one thing that Bruneians miss most about travelling, it's the experience of boarding a flight to their favourite travel destination. Since Brunei has recorded an excellent record of zero COVID-19 cases since March 2020, this news will definitely send a glimmer of hope that international travel may be a possibility in the near future!
On 13 May 2021, Royal Brunei Airlines has announced that they'll be joining other global airlines to trial the IATA Travel Pass, a secure mobile app that allows travellers to store and manage verified certifications required for their future travels including COVID-19 tests, proof of vaccination and travel information. With the app, travellers can also expect efficient airline process as it helps to pre-validate travellers prior to their airport arrival.
“Royal Brunei (RB) has recently been rated with the highest seven-star rating against COVID-19 by www.airlineratings.com. The introduction of the IATA Travel Pass app further cements our commitment to the health and safety of our guests.” said Captain Hj Khalidkhan Hj Asmakhan, Royal Brunei Airlines CEO.
“As part of RB’s efforts to support the Nation and provide safe travel to our passengers during this critical and challenging time, we have been working closely with IATA to better understand the app. This paired with the recent launch of Brunei’s vaccination strategy are a definite boost to morale and a positive step towards safely reopening borders and connecting our guests to the rest of our network” he added.
Nick Careen, IATA’s Senior Vice President Airport, Passenger, Cargo, and Security said “We are proud to partner with Royal Brunei Airlines to trial IATA Travel Pass and demonstrate that this technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials. Our priority is restarting aviation, to support the thousands of people that work in the industry and its related industries, such as tourism. Health passes are the key to doing this safely. We look forward to working with Royal Brunei Airlines and the Brunei government to pilot acceptance of Travel Pass at the Brunei border.”
In March 2021, Singapore Airlines was the world's first airline to trial the IATA Travel Pass. Other global airlines that are trialing the app include Malaysia Airlines, Qatar Airways, Emirates, Etihad, Air New Zealand, Qantas, and Japan Airlines.
While our travel plans may be taking a back seat for now, trialing the IATA Travel Pass will be a positive way forward for Royal Brunei Airlines as we continue to stay optimistic about the future of aviation in Brunei and the rest of the world.