“Quite frankly, I think that this will be the new norm, that everybody will have to produce a vaccination certificate to board an airplane. And not only to board an airplane; a lot of countries would require that you be vaccinated before you come to their countries,” Akbar Al Baker told BBC World.
Virtually all of the world’s airlines already require proof of a negative CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus test to fly. Another airline executive, Qantas Group CEO Alan Joyce, said late last year that the group was looking at changing terms and conditions to require people to be vaccinated against the virus before boarding one of the company’s planes.
The certificates, Al Baker said, will stem from a joint project stewarded by the International Civil Aviation Organization and World Health Organization (WHO), which are United Nations agencies, and the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association, he added.
WHO officials said last month that they are looking into deploying digital vaccination certificates being developed with Estonia.
IATA said last year that it was working on launching the IATA Travel Pass, which would include information on vaccination and testing.
“Informing passengers on what tests, vaccines, and other measures they require prior to travel, details on where they can get tested, and giving them the ability to share their tests and vaccination results in a verifiable, safe, and privacy-protecting manner is the key to giving governments the confidence to open borders,” the organization states on its website.
Several airlines are using the pass, including Etihad Airways and Emirates.
“Being one of the first airlines globally working with IATA as a pioneer partner on the IATA Travel Pass is a big step forward for Etihad’s guests and for the industry,” Mohammad Al Bulooki, chief operating officer of Etihad Aviation Group, said in a statement.
The trade association’s director-general, Alexandre de Juniac, meanwhile, in an open letter this week urged the European Union to support a digital CCP virus vaccination certificate.
Some countries have begun giving certificates to people who are vaccinated, including Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
The United States gives people who receive an injection a paper card with information that includes the date on which they’re injected and what company manufactured the dose.
The CCP virus causes the disease COVID-19. Countries began authorizing COVID-19 vaccines for use in December 2020.