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NEW DELHI : The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is in talks with leading Indian airlines to sign them up for its digital health pass, a top official at the global aviation body said.

IATA’s Travel Pass, aimed to help revive international air travel squeezed by pandemic curbs, will manage and verify the secure flow of necessary testing or vaccine information among governments, airlines, laboratories and travellers.

Several leading global airlines like Singapore Airlines, Emirates, Etihad and Air New Zealand have already signed up for IATA’s Travel Pass.

“IATA is in discussions with all major Indian airlines for Travel Pass. We hope they sign up," IATA’s Asia-Pacific regional vice president Conrad Clifford told reporters.

“Two single largest barriers to travel (currently) are quarantine and lack of knowledge of regulations. Airlines want to get information out to customers. So, this is a logical extension of capabilities we provide to airlines," he added.

India’s largest domestic airline IndiGo is currently engaged with IATA for the Travel Pass, a spokesperson of the airline said.

“We would look forward to seamless movement of our customers across borders during and post the pandemic. IndiGo is engaged with IATA to evaluate the IATA Travel Pass initiative, for seamless movement of our customers across international borders," the spokesperson added.

A spokesperson of Vistara, a joint venture between Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons, said such partnerships fall in the regulatory domain and are best addressed by the government.

Spokespersons of other major Indian airlines like Air India, SpiceJet and GoAir didn’t offer comments.

Meanwhile, IATA hopes its Travel Pass will be a key enabler for restarting international travel.

So far, international travel remains restricted in several countries, including India, to curb the spread of the covid-19 pandemic, though certain flights for repatriation and those under bubble agreements with select countries are allowed to operate. India currently has such agreements with more than 24 countries.

“We are hoping that the IATA Travel Pass will give confidence to the government to open up its borders," added IATA’s regional director, airports and external relations, Vinoop Goel.

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