Bamboo Airways pilots IATA Travel Pass on special authorization flight connecting Vietnam-US

By May Pham    September 24, 2021 | 05:15 am PT
Bamboo Airways coordinated with the International Air Transport Association (IATA) to pilot the IATA Travel Pass on its first special authorization flight from Vietnam to the U.S. on Thursday night.

Flight QH9149 departed Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi) at 7:55 p.m. (local time) on Sept. 23 and landed at 8:15 p.m. (local time) at San Francisco International Airport (California, U.S.). This is also the first nonstop flight connecting Vietnam and the U.S. operated by Bamboo Airways after it received permission.

Bamboo Airways is officially trialing IATA Travel Pass. Before the flight, passengers are required to take a Covid-19 test at Hong Ngoc General Hospital. Licensed by the Ministry of Health, this is currently the only unit in Vietnam designated by IATA.

Developed by International Air Transport Association (IATA), IATA Travel Pass is aimed at helping travelers easily and securely manage their travel health credentials in line with government requirements for Covid-19 tests or vaccines.


Bamboo Airways officially trials IATA Travel Pass on a flight departing Hanoi for San Francisco on Sept. 23, 2021. Photo by Bamboo Airways

Bamboo Airways’ trial of IATA Travel Pass shows passengers can easily access the application, quickly download the app on iOS and Android systems, create a digital personal profile, enter flight information, check travel requirements at the destination, perform necessary tests, and receive digital Covid-19 test results.

Once the information is verified, passengers will receive a "OK to Travel" screen to present to the airline before departing. This is a key prerequisite for conducting safe flights during and after the pandemic, simultaneously helping passengers fulfill travel requirements of authorities and governments at destinations.

The trial also justifies the ability of IATA Travel Pass in ensuring consistent information among the government, testing facilities, airlines, and passengers.


The displayed screen of passengers using IATA Travel Pass. Photo by Bamboo Airways

Key to reviving the international flight network

After the first test flight of IATA Travel Pass, Bamboo Airways plans to trial the pass on international routes, initially on the following flights to Asian countries. The carrier has released tickets for nonstop flights to Taiwan, Japan, and South Korea with the expected departure time from November 2021.

IATA will continue to monitor and improve the application testing process to meet each market demand.

"IATA Travel Pass can be viewed as a key to reopening international routes, and at the same time a technological solution that plays a pivotal role in Bamboo Airways's plan of reviving the international flight network and especially operating nonstop flights between Vietnam and the U.S.," Dang Tat Thang, CEO of Bamboo Airways, said.

"Bamboo Airways is one of the leading airlines in the world to trial IATA Travel Pass, especially on the first nonstop flight connecting Vietnam – U.S. This is an important milestone to ensure that passengers on Bamboo Airways's international flights will have the most convenient, safe, and secured journeys. With the valuable companionship of IATA, we believe Bamboo Airways's efforts will make a strong contribution to the recovery and sustainable development of the aviation industry in future," he stated.

Nick Careen, IATA senior vice president of Operations, Safety and Security, said: "We congratulate Bamboo Airways on its first nonstop flight between Vietnam and the U.S. And are proud to partner with them to trial IATA Travel Pass on the new route. The trial will help demonstrate that this technology can securely, conveniently and efficiently help manage passenger travel health credentials. Our priority is restarting aviation, to support the millions of people that work in the industry and its related industries, such as tourism."


IATA Travel Pass is expected to be a key to safely reopening international borders. Photo by Bamboo Airways

Currently, Singapore, Panama, and Saudi Arabia officially allow passengers to use IATA Travel Pass upon entry. Meanwhile, more than 60 airlines around the world have announced their own IATA Travel Pass trials, including Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airlines, Air New Zealand, Air Serbia, Emirates, Etihad, Ethiopian Airlines, Iberia, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, and Qantas....

IATA represents some 290 airlines comprising 82 percent of global air traffic.

In Vietnam in particular, Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh has directed the Ministry of Health to actively coordinate with relevant agencies to urgently pilot the digital health passport for international passengers to some tourism destinations that have contained the pandemic.

Bamboo Airways is the first airline in Vietnam aiming to provide 5-star oriented services, with the core value of hospitality and professionalism. The carrier currently operates over 60 domestic and international routes, the largest in scale across the Vietnam aviation industry.

Its service quality has been recognized by consumers and the media all over the country and the world with customer satisfaction rates reaching 4.5 out of 5. It has led the entire Vietnam aviation industry in terms of on-time performance for three consecutive years from 2019 to 2021. It was voted the airline with the best service in Vietnam, the favorite carrier of golfers in Vietnam, and Asia’s leading regional airline.

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