In the news: overcoming obstacles to business travel

COVID may not be going away anytime soon, but that’s not dampened the desire to travel.

One third of global travellers say they have no plans to alter their travel habits and 69% intend to fly internationally in the next six months, a survey by OAG has found.

It’s a determination shared by the industry too. Thoughts are now turning to how we overcome the obstacles to business travel and move swiftly (and safely) toward recovery.

Here’s our pick of the fortnight’s top stories on work underway to get the travel sector moving again.

Trials underway of a new digital health pass

A number of international airlines are trialling a new digital health pass.

The CommonPass, developed by the World Economic Forum and Swiss non-profit, The Commons Project, allows travellers to carry their COVID-19 test status with them in a standardised format that is easily accessed from their smartphone via a QR code. It’s hoped that the new digital pass will overcome current problems associated with printed health status documents and the authenticity of results from foreign labs.

Cathay Pacific Airways and United Airlines are currently trialling the app on selected flights between London, New York, Hong Kong and Singapore. Representatives from 37 countries are collaborating on the development, with a view to rolling it out worldwide.

Full story here.

New Global Travel Taskforce could help shorten self-isolation period

It’s hoped that a new Global Travel Taskforce, set up by government earlier in October to oversee a safe return to travel, may ‘accelerate’ work on a future testing regime. This includes the possibility of introducing private tests for international arrivals, at a cost met by the traveller.

If successful, the 14-day quarantine period could be reduced, something it’s hoped will stimulate international travel, without risking public health or adding additional pressure to the NHS.

Full story here.

Touchless tech could ease anxiety

Airlines are leveraging touchless technology to both improve the travel experience, plus address lingering fears around the risks of infection on flights.

Initiatives include self-service options within airports to reduce queues and mobile booking for standby and early flight requests.

The technology is also being used to make it easier to access information before departure so passengers can anticipate what to expect on arrival and during transit, in a bid to increase traveller confidence.

Full story here.

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