AirAsia PH to roll out app for travel requirements

By Ma. Cristina Arayata

August 4, 2021, 5:18 pm

<p>(<em>Photo courtesy of Manila International Airport Authority</em>)</p>

(Photo courtesy of Manila International Airport Authority)

MANILA – AirAsia Philippines announced Wednesday its plan to roll out an app or platform where passengers could easily upload travel requirements.

"This will be like a one-stop shop, where passengers could upload a copy of their vaccination card and RT-PCR (reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction) test result," spokesperson Steve Dailisan said in a virtual presser.

Having the platform would enable the airline to check the veracity of the documents, as well as smoothen the check-in process upon arrival at the airport, he explained.

The carrier plans to roll this out this August. Dailisan said a non-disclosure agreement with the Department of Information and Communications Technology is in the works.

The idea behind this is similar to the "vaccine passport", added Dailisan.

Testing will be done for AirAsia to polish the platform.

With regard to checking the RT-PCR tests' authenticity, he said AirAsia has several partner laboratories. This will help them to double-check the passenger's records.

Dailisan shared that in a recent survey involving 1,600 AirAsia passengers outbound from Manila, about 78.5 percent believe that a vaccination card would suffice as a substitute to other requirements such as RT-PCR or antigen tests results.

Some 91.4 percent of the respondents also believe that having a fully vaccinated crew adds confidence in their flight, while 8.6 percent of them are more concerned about the vaccination status of their fellow passengers in the flight.

The respondents were composed of travelers bound for Bohol, Bacolod, Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Cebu.

With this survey result, AirAsia Philippines chief executive officer Ricky Isla reported that 70 percent of their local employees are already fully vaccinated.

"In partnership with the local government, 1,054 of 1,509 'Filipino Allstars' are fully vaccinated. That includes those at the check-in counters, ground staff, cabin crew and pilots," Isla said in the same presser.

Meanwhile, Isla shared that AirAsia Philippines has canceled 40 percent of its flights for the duration of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the National Capital Region from August 6-20.

"Most of the affected flights are in tourist destinations like Boracay. We were supposed to mount four roundtrips a day to Boracay if there was no threat of the Delta variant," he said.

In the meantime, AirAsia is strengthening its repatriation or chartered flight operations, Isla said. (PNA