SIA launches one-stop online portal for pre-departure Covid-19 testing

SIA said the new online portal will also be able to house digital health passes that show a passenger's Covid-19 status. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

SINGAPORE - Passengers of Singapore Airlines (SIA) and SilkAir flying out of Singapore, Jakarta and Medan will now be able to book pre-departure Covid-19 tests and receive their results via a one-stop online portal.

The pilot programme launching on Wednesday (Jan 20) is the SIA Group's latest effort to restore confidence in international travel, which has been decimated by the pandemic.

If proven successful, the portal will be expanded to more cities in SIA and SilkAir's network over the next few months, the airline said in a statement.

With the new portal, passengers can choose from a list of recognised testing facilities and book appointments for pre-departure Covid-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and serology tests up to 48 hours before their required testing window.

Their test results will be delivered to them within 36 hours via the same portal and passengers can then present these results when checking in at the airport.

Airport check-in staff and Singapore immigration authorities can use an accompanying quick response (QR) code to authenticate the results, SIA said.

This is part of a digital health verification process that SIA has been trialling since December last year, based on the International Air Transport Association (Iata) Travel Pass framework.

SIA said the new online portal will also be able to house digital health passes that show a passenger's Covid-19 status.

Mr Todd Handcock, Asia-Pacific president of Collinson Group, which is working with SIA on the new portal, said it will enable the safe reopening of key routes for travellers.

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"While there's optimism that the roll-out of vaccines will help bring an end to the pandemic, there remains a complex road ahead. In order to restore confidence in travel, the implementation of safe and robust testing protocols remains key," he added.

SIA's senior vice-president for marketing planning, Ms JoAnn Tan, said the portal will give SIA and SilkAir passengers a more streamlined booking experience.

"Piloting this one-stop pre-departure test is part of our ongoing efforts to provide passengers with a vital service during this time, as well as a more seamless pre-flight experience," she said.

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