Most African airlines could start adapting COVID-19 vaccine passports in 2022

Most African airlines could start adapting COVID-19 vaccine passports in 2022
A plane belonging to Regional airline, Bluebird Aviation. PHOTO| COURTESY

By Captain Hussein Mohammed

The need to get a COVID vaccine certificate before you travel to Kenya and from other destinations outside the country could become a reality over the next 12 months.

BlueBird Aviation, General Manager, Captain Hussein Mohammed has projected it would take a little longer for African airlines to get travel moving across borders on the back of low vaccination rates across the continent.

“If most of the people were vaccinated it makes it easier for airlines because you have sufficient passenger load that is free to travel. The downside is adaptability of the COVID Vaccine passport worldwide,” said Captain Mohammed.

He adds, “We cannot act unilaterally. Kenya cannot say we require all passengers to have a COVID passport while Rwanda, UK or Australia doesn’t require it, then what we will have is that passengers will avoid your airline and go to an airline that will accept COVID negative test results.”

Developed nations like the US have already achieved 70 per cent of adult population who have received their first dose of the vaccination and close to 40 per cent of the population have fully been vaccinated.

Captain Mohammed said introducing COVID Vaccine Passports in such jurisdictions is possible compared to Kenya or Africa because many people are yet to get vaccinated.

Here is a situation that will take 12 months or more for 70 per cent of adult population in Africa to be fully vaccinated. We have to be able to be comparable to developed countries. Until we reach such a time we are comparable to these developed countries, honestly COVID Passport is not yet an option for most of Africa,

For the foreseeable future, Captain Mohammed sees a combination requiring passengers to produce COVID certificates showing that they are fully vaccinated and also for those who are not, required to have COVID negative results prior to boarding the flight.

“I see that for the next 12 months and probably beyond that there might be a consensus among people in the aviation industry worldwide agreeing on a specific COVID passport requirement for all travels,” said Captain Mohammed.

Captain Hussein Mohammed is BlueBird Aviation, General Manager.

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