File image of a Qantas 787-9 Dreamliner. Credit: Brent Winstone/PR IMAGE
So far, Qantas has only been testing the travel apps on crew members.
From next week, they’ll be rolling it out to Australians flying back home.
The IATA and Commonpass apps provide passengers with a “COVID-19 health status” for airline staff to view.
How will the digital passes work?
Qantas said the passes are very similar to the NSW COVIDSafe apps, which are secure but able to be shared between departments.
The airline is also looking to Air New Zealand for guidance on how to roll out the passes.
The New Zealand airline has just started using the IATA app on its Auckland to Sydney route.
Customers have to create a digital health wallet linked to their e-passport.
Once travellers have been tested and/or vaccinated, labs will securely send data directly to the individual’s app.
It then checks requirements for travel against the data and customers who meet those travel requirements will be given the green tick to travel.
A Qantas spokesperson told 7NEWS.com.au the passes were completely optional for passengers while still in their trial stage.
Qantas CEO Alan Joyce said on Thursday that the company was trialling the apps to get “ready” for international travel.
“So, we’re getting ourselves ready and hundreds of airlines are getting themselves ready on these passes and these technologies, so that when the borders open up and we have the ability to know who’s been vaccinated, who’s been tested and whatever requirements the governments put into place, then we can implement from that date,” he said.
Qantas Chief Financial Officer Vanessa Hudson emphasised that the digital passes are still in their very early stages.
“The digital pass is obviously still in development, but it would be very similar to the New South Wales COVID apps that we’re using now,” she said on Thursday
“It will be in an app on your phone, that you can present along with your travel documentation that shows proof of vaccination, and also if you had required to have a COVID test before travel, the results of that test.
“I think our focus is making sure that it’s as seamless for customers as possible, but also, very easy and seamless for our frontline people to use as well. It creates just a fast process at that point of check-in.”