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Air France to pilot ICC’s blockchain Covid-19 credentials app

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Air France will begin a four-week pilot of a new health passport, the blockchain-powered ICC AOKpass starting March 11. The app enables passengers to present their Covid-19 negative test on their mobile phones and is supported by MedAire / International SOS. The International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has more than 45 million corporate members worldwide.

As air travel attempts to return to normalcy, most airlines and governments require travelers to present a negative Covid-19 test before boarding. While necessary, the verification of the test’s validity is a time-consuming process for airline staff and an added source of stress for passengers. 

ICC’s AOKpass aims to mitigate these issues by supporting a traceable and secure platform for recording pre-travel negative tests. The validity of the negative test is verified on the app through a blockchain-based network. At the airport, passengers only have to present a certificate on their mobile phones generated by the app, speeding up the boarding process and eliminating the risk of loss or spoilage of the document. It also aims to give individuals greater control over their personal data.

“Improving and simplifying the customer experience is an ongoing priority for Air France.” said Air France SVP of Customer Experience Catherine Villar. “We are convinced that the changes we are all currently experiencing will change the way we travel in the long term and are committed to supporting all innovation projects that can help us meet these new challenges.”

The app’s verification of negative Covid-19 tests and generation of a certificate is only compatible with AOK Pass partner laboratories, which in France include Cerballiance and Biogroup. In addition, the pilot will only be available for Air France customers flying from Paris-CDG to Guadeloupe or Martinique.

The app was co-developed by Perlin, ICC’s blockchain partner, and startup AOKpass. Besides creating a layer of trust, blockchain technology also ensures app users are in control of their data and can choose with whom to share it. Furthermore, it is customizable and adaptable to companies’ and governments’ changing health credential requirements. International SOS was the first group to pilot the app as its operations resumed in-person work.

App usage will be carried out on a voluntary basis, and Air France will share the results with other airlines in the Skyteam alliance, including Delta, KLM, Aeroflot, Air Italia, Korean Air, and others. Various members of the alliance are piloting and trailing different initiatives and reporting back the results to one another to ensure the safest and most efficient transition into regular air traveling. 

Given there are multiple Covid-19 credential solutions on the market and a need for interoperability between them, the Good Health Pass Collaborative was launched last month by the ID2020. Members include the Airports Council International and the ICC.

Meanwhile, various other blockchain-based health credentialing initiatives are being trialed by airlines. Emirates Airlines, for example, is trialing GE Digital and TE-FOOD’s TrustOne app. British Airways, Singapore Airlines, Qatar Airways and others are trialing IATA’s Travel Pass platform.