ADDIS ABABA, March 17 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopia's national flag carrier Ethiopian Airlines on Wednesday announced partnership with the Africa Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) for the implementation of the African Union (AU) Trusted Travel Pass to make continental travel easier and safer amidst the COVID -19 pandemic.
The Trusted Travel Pass program will ensure country regulations regarding COVID-19 travel requirements are met with minimal room for error and hassle to the travelling public, the Ethiopian Airlines said in a press statement.
The Africa CDC, the specialized healthcare agency of the AU, has mobilized a broad multi-stakeholder public private partnership with the help of its strategic partners, with the objective of addressing current challenges in accessing accurate health information, high costs and inconvenience in cross border travel, and poor data for health policy and biosecurity planning.
Getinet Tadesse, the chief information officer at Ethiopian Airlines, said the Ethiopian flag carrier is offering new digital opportunities to its passengers so as to fully and safely restore air travel.
The newly introduced initiative is said to be capable of addressing passengers' travel needs during COVID-19 pandemic as it helps them validate their test and vaccination documents before departure, it was noted.
"As a safety first airline, we are striving to make travel safe and seamless especially with regard to the implementation of COVID 19 prevention strategies," Tadesse said.
The Trusted Travel Pass solution is expected to validate test and vaccination certificates and verify that they are sufficient for their route and share testing or vaccination certificates with airlines and authorities to facilitate travel.
The initiative also envisaged avoiding fraudulent documentation and making air travel more convenient, it was noted.
John Nkengasong, the director of the Africa CDC, stressed the crucial importance of such partnerships in the present context.
"The scale of the challenge presented by COVID-19 demands an unprecedented level of both innovation and cooperation, which is why Ethiopian's laudable decision to come on board Trusted Travel marks a watershed in the continent's ongoing fightback against this pandemic's quest to suppress the Africa's development ambitions," an Ethiopian Airlines statement quoted Nkengasong as saying.
Ethiopian Airlines is also a major cargo partner of the World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Program (WFP), donor governments and philanthropists in facilitating the flow of essential medical supplies across Africa and the wider world. Enditem