Affinidi, a Singapore-based technology company, has partnered with Etihad Airways, the national airline of the United Arab Emirates, to advance the aviation industry’s ability to digitally read, authenticate and validate COVID-19 test results, enabling a more efficient and seamless travel experience for travelers.
Currently, travelers are required to book pre-departure tests (PDT) at accredited healthcare Institutions and present the health reports with negative test results to airlines and immigration authorities before they can board their flights. However, the lack of a global standard for digital health credentials impedes the verification process.
Affinidi’s goal is to enhance its travel verification and interoperable solution that reads and authenticates various verifiable QR codes on health reports in a confidential manner, regardless of the issuing authority and format, allowing airlines to process health credentials more seamlessly. Since 27 March this year, Etihad has been trialling Affinidi’s travel verification solution to authenticate the digital health credentials of passengers travelling from Singapore to Abu Dhabi
Through this partnership, Etihad became the first airline to trial Affinidi’s Healthcare Network Assessment (HNA) program in Bahrain, Cairo, Maldives, Manila, and Jakarta. The airline is working with Affinidi to identify the types of PDTs issued by healthcare providers as well as overall valid scan rates of QR codes on health reports when passengers check-in at the airports. This allows Etihad to understand the digital maturity and extent of QR code adoption on health reports in each destination market.
Toby Berger, Director of Travel at Affinidi, said, “We are excited to partner with Etihad Airways on this industry-first program. As stakeholders in the travel ecosystem look to restart safe international travel, standardization of digital health credentials and a seamless verification process will be key for authorities to verify passengers’ credentials efficiently. At Affinidi, we continue to be a trusted global partner in delivering safe travel solutions centeredon authenticating health credentials to address the increasingly complex environment for safe travel. Programs like the Healthcare Network Assessment will also provide airlines with a better understanding of the health landscape and explore how they can strengthen collaboration with healthcare providers.”
The assessment has captured over 9,000 guest check-ins and identified 141 healthcare labs across five markets, and the data collected will support Affinidi in identifying key healthcare providers to onboard onto its safe travel ecosystem so that they may be able to integrate and authenticate health reports issued by these providers. This will in turn increase the pool of health reports that airlines can digitally verify while guarding against fraudulent reports and improving the airlines’ ability to process and validate health reports more efficiently.
John Wright, Vice President Global Airports and Network Operations, Etihad Airways, said: “To facilitate the safe reopening of international travel and provide our guests with the best experience, it is important that we are able to seamlessly authenticate and validate health credentials, regardless of their origin or format, in a manner that protects the confidentiality of our guest’s data. We have always advocated the importance of interoperability of digital health solutions and are glad to partner with Affinidi to help accelerate this development.”
Over the coming months, Etihad will continue to extend the Affinidi Healthcare Network Assessment across more destinations in its network.
Affinidi is a core technology company that enables the creation, sharing, and verification of digital credentials that are portable and verifiable. Affinidi’s solutions empower trusted institutions to issue verifiable credentials to users, who can provide consent to share their credentials with other institutions, applications, or service providers, for verification. By sharing these verifiable data credentials, users can access valuable products and services across platforms and geographies in a trusted, open and interoperable manner.
Headquartered in Singapore with a hub in Berlin, Germany, Affinidi works with stakeholders and partners globally to realize the shared goal of driving transformational change and new business models.
As part of its Safe Travel initiative, Affinidi’s travel verification solution offers a universal, privacy-preserving solution to simply and securely verify digital health credentials to address the increasingly complex environment for international travel.
About Etihad Airways
Etihad is fully owned by the Government of Abu Dhabi and was established in July 2003 as a Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC) by a decree of the Government of Abu Dhabi. Etihad has ambitious development plans that form part of the long-term growth and development plans of Abu Dhabi. As the national airline of the UAE, Etihad Airways was formed to bring ‘Abu Dhabi to the World’. Due to travel restrictions caused by the Covid pandemic, Etihad iscurrently operating a reduced network, with flights to 65 destinations in the summer of 2021. Etihad operates one of the youngest and most efficient fleets in the world, the backbone of which is the state-of-the-art Boeing 787 Dreamliner