The Canary Islands has partnered with the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to operate the world’s first Covid-19 "safe" flight using a new "digital health passport" app.
Canarian company Hi+Card has been selected by the UNWTO for the project, and will pilot the app in July allowing passengers to create a unique health data profile on their smartphones that stores their medical records.
The UNWTO said users will be able to travel safely, traceably and with data immutability and believes the app could help reopen skies and borders amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The Canaries will serve as the destination for the first flight, the island’s regional tourism minister Yaiza Castilla and general secretary of the UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili have confirmed.
It comes after the Canary Islands committed to becoming a "global laboratory" for redesigning tourism security protocols, testing them, and then sharing them with other destinations.
Castilla said the app was part of a range of "necessary steps" the destination was working on to allow holidaymakers to "travel with ease" and airlines to increase flight capacity.
She added the app would also meet the "expected need" from destinations, airlines and passengers for Covid-free certification and potentially a formal move towards digital health passports.
Hi+Card co-founder Antonio Lopez de Avila said all health data stored by the app would be accredited by the Canarian ministry of health, and would be encrypted to negate any risk of the data being manipulated or used to create false profiles.
Pololikashvili added: "In these exceptional times, in which the Covid-19 pandemic has shaken the world economy and threatened our tourism sector, innovation becomes the cornerstone of the recuperation.
"Trips will no longer be as [they were] before; rather, they will become safer and more sustainable to continue providing benefits to nations and communities."