By: Preety Chaudhary
Mongolian Airlines (MIAT) operated the first ever charter flight (OM7602) on which all passengers and air crew members used a digital health pass to verify their COVID-19 negative status. The flight, chartered by Rio Tinto, carried employees destined for Oyu Tolgoi site, one of the largest known copper and gold deposits in the world. AOKpass, integrated into International SOS’ safe return to work solution, Work Pass, was used to authenticate the employees’ COVID-19 negative PCR results on departure from Johannesburg Airport (JNB), in South Africa, and arrival at Ulaanbaatar Airport (ULN), in Mongolia.
Altannaran Gankhuu, Head of Foreign Relations & Cooperation Department MIAT Mongolian Airlines commented, “We are delighted to work with our partners to provide safe passage for the Oyu Tolgoi employees in this groundbreaking flight.”
Phil Abraham, GM HSE, Oyu Tolgoi LLC – Rio Tinto said, “Oyu Tolgoi is one of the most modern, safe and sustainable operations in the world and it is critically important to us to ensure our employees are kept safe and well. Working in partnership with Mongolian Airlines, AOKPass and International SOS will protect our employees as well as providing a smooth journey.”
All the employees took a PCR test 24 hours before the flight, which followed a previous test nine days prior to the flight. They also underwent an International SOS ‘Fit for Travel Assessment’, via survey forms through the Work Pass app. The International SOS Work Pass full integration with AOKpass provided the employees with a unique AOKpass QR code linking to their digital health certificate. This was presented at the arrival gate, where inspection personnel scanned the QR code to verify that the passenger has the valid required certificates for the flight and entry to country, including COVID-19 negative status.
Darren Toh, CEO at AOKPass, “This is a great step in the evolution of getting back to travel and back to work safely in a sustainable way. It is another milestone in the operational advancement of AOKpass. Being able to provide organisations and their employees with an easy and secure end-to-end process is going to be a key element in getting the global workforce and economy back to business,”
Michael Gardner, CEO Medical Services, International SOS added, “The integration of Work Pass* and AOKpass provides organisations and their employees with a safe and secure way to demonstrate adherence to health requirements of a work or travel environment via a single app. This is an exciting first of its kind pilot and we hope that many more organisations consider this to protect their employees and, ultimately, their business continuity.”