Health passports will need to be as simple as possible because the NHS has no central vaccine database, easyJet has said.
Sophie Dekkers, easyJet chief commercial officer, said a common approach to the issue was “not as simple as we would like”.
She told the BBC’s World at One: “Each government in each country has their own systems and their own sources and within the UK even the NHS central systems are locally managed and locally recorded as well.
“So even within the NHS there isn’t a single central source that we could tap into even if we wanted to, so that would be the real challenge.”
She suggested a system whereby travellers could upload their passport and vaccination details themselves.
“Anything that connects in with other systems would be complicated for the data sources on either end, for airlines and governments as well.
“What we would prefer is something that is more of a visual certification that’s uploaded. Potentially that’s a pictorial representation of a certificate, rather than anything that links data systems.”
The UK government will address the issue of vaccine passports and test certificates for travellers on 12 April.
Dekkers was asked if there was sufficient time to implement systems by 17 May, when international travel may be restarted.
“It very much depends on what that format takes,” she said. “It is critical it is implemented in a simple way to make sure it is really easy for passengers and we are very cautious and wary of an over-engineered IT product which actually isn’t necessary for people that perhaps only want to make a single trip over the summer. That’s very much our clear message to government.”
“Making sure those are really simple, cheap and easily accessible by everyone is more important than complicated systems that may require IT development by governments, airlines, airports and so on, which will just further delay the recovery that we know the demand is there for.”
She predicted “some resumption” of international travel from mid-May “with further growth from late June”.
“The government has a number of tools at its disposal, travel corridors for example and testing requirements that are coming in,” she said.
TTG contacted the Department of Health & Social Care for comment and was referred to The Cabinet Office, which declined to comment beyond its 22 February Covid-19 Response. This stated it was planned to “introduce a system to allow vaccinated individuals to travel more freely internationally”.
“The UK is working with other countries who have started similar programmes to lead global efforts to adopt a clear international framework with standards that provide consistency for passengers and industry alike,” it added.