With travel and tourism one of the industries hardest hit by the lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic, several stakeholders are increasingly turning to digital and contactless solutions.
With this in mind, Air France has tested a blockchain-based COVID-19 travel system in collaboration with MedAire, SGS, International SOS and the International Chamber of Commerce.
From March 11th, Air France will start the pilot test of the ICC AOKpass system developed by MedAire and the International SOS. The ICC AOKpass is an app that travelers can install on their smartphone and that contains a secure record of their COVID-19 test results from approved laboratories.
With the app, travelers do not have to present a paper test result, as the ICC AOKpass serves as a secure form of checking the negative COVID-19 status of the user.
According to an announcement on Tuesday, the test will last four weeks and only cover the Paris CDG-Pointe-à-Pitre and Paris CDG-Fort-de-France routes.
The press release also revealed that use of the app is voluntary for passengers flying the route. Air France will share details from the test with all other project staff to support further travel-related digitization efforts in the healthcare sector.
Commenting on the need for digital innovation in the travel sector amid the coronavirus pandemic, Catherine Villar, Director Customer Experience at Air France:
“The test of the AOKpass solution fully complies with this framework and the process that was initiated by setting up the Air France Protect label. We believe that the changes we are going through together will change the journey in the long run, and we are committed to supporting any innovation projects that can help us meet these new challenges. “
The AOKpass solution is not Air France’s first blockchain-based system. In fact, the world’s fifth largest airline has historically researched the novel technology in various aspects of its operations.
According to the United Nations News Agency, airlines have lost an estimated $ 314 billion to the coronavirus pandemic, with air traffic falling by over 60%, according to a report by Statista. To adhere to social distancing protocols, stakeholders are increasingly prioritizing contactless protocols that require digital base layers like blockchain.
As previously reported by Cointelegraph, the South Korean island of Jeju – an important tourist hotspot – uses a COVID-19 tracing app based on decentralized ledger technology. Back in January it was reported that Frankfurt Airport had used an Iota-based solution to track travelers’ COVID-19 test results.