Emirates, a major airline based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), is testing a blockchain mobile app developed by GE Digital Aviation to make it easier for passengers to adhere to COVID-19 travel requirements.
Blockchain Solution Provides Easy COVID-19 Test Experience
Emirates announced the news of the trial process via a press release on Sunday ( Jan. 31, 2021). According to the UAE airline, the blockchain mobile app would enable its passengers to carry out COVID-19 PCR tests at discounted prices.
The blockchain solution called TrustOne, was developed by GE Digital in collaboration with the food traceability company TE Food, back in June 2020. The app was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and seeks to enable robust health screening of airline staff and passengers, as well as trace the cleaning of aircrafts.
With TrustOne, Emirates passengers would carry out COVID-19 PCR tests using Eurofins, a global laboratory testing company. By using Eurofins, passengers get to do their tests at a discount rate. Also, users can get all the necessary information such as appointment bookings, lab location, and test results on the mobile app.
Meanwhile, the blockchain app trial has begun for flights leaving the UAE, UK, the Netherlands, Spain, and France. However, the current trial will see passengers still printing their COVID-19 PCR certificates.
But Emirates stated that the phase two of the mobile app trial, which is projected to start in a few months, would see customers validating their test results via the TrustOne app at airport check-ins. Furthermore, passengers can download the blockchain mobile app on iOS and Android devices.
Commenting on the latest development, Adel Al Redha, Chief Operating Officer of Emirates, said:
“With this latest solution, provided in partnership by GE Digital Aviation Software and TE Food, passengers will be able to easily source accurate information on tests, approved laboratories to get tested, as well as other vital measures to be taken prior to travel. We look forward to working with our partners on a successful trial and to expand the app’s offering and benefits to our customers in the future.”
Aviation Sector Leveraging Blockchain Technology
The coronavirus pandemic has affected different sectors, with the aviation industry being one of the hardest hit due to lockdowns. With countries gradually easing lockdowns, the aviation sector is leveraging distributed ledger technology (DLT) for COVID-19 tests.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) back in December 2020 announced the development of a blockchain-based digital health passport called Travel Pass. The IATA Travel Pass which was created to replace quarantine measures, gives passengers control of information such as COVID-19 tests and vaccines, while ensuring the security and privacy of the user’s data.