The Ministry of Transport has abandoned the idea of ​​checking QR codes when selling tickets

The Ministry of Transport has adjusted its position on the need to verify QR-codes indicating the vaccination of air passengers from COVID-19. If verification becomes mandatory, QR codes will not be required at the stage of ticket sales, the certificate will be verified only before check-in for the flight. This was reported to Vedomosti by three sources in the airlines and one interlocutor familiar with the results of the meeting in the Ministry of Transport on December 1.

The discussion of QR-codes took place in the department with the participation of representatives of the airline industry, two interlocutors confirmed. “The adjusted position of the Ministry of Transport will be presented on December 7 at a meeting with deputies in the Transport Committee of the State Duma chaired by Eugene Moskvich,” – said one of the sources. The head of the committee’s staff Irakli Aslamazov confirmed to Vedomosti that a meeting to discuss the bill is scheduled for December 7.

If the passenger does not have a vaccination certificate registered on the website of the State Service after buying a ticket, the airline will send him a notification about the need to obtain such a certificate, the interlocutors told Vedomosti. Only if you have a QR code, the carrier will be able to register the passenger for the flight (usually, check-in with Russian carriers begins the day before departure). If the certificate does not appear on the State Services by this time, the airline will terminate the contract of carriage and will have to return the full cost of the ticket within 30 days. As one of the interlocutors explained to Vedomosti, it will not even be the airline itself that will request information about the certificate, but the provider of its inventory reservation system, in which carriers store data on flights, fares and capacities. These are companies such as Saber, Amadeus, Navitaire or the Russian “Siren Travel” and “Online Reservation Systems”. Similarly, the verification of certificates will take place if the ticket is purchased not directly from the airline, but from the sales agent.

Interlocutors of “Vedomosti” did not explain how the verification of certificates will be carried out by Russians who do not have a profile on “State Services”. As of December 30, 2020, 126 million users were registered at the State Services, and 135 million at the end of May (no later data).

Bills on mandatory verification of QR-codes in public places and on air and rail transport were introduced in the State Duma on November 12. This is a necessary measure to curb the spread of the coronavirus, said the head of the staff and Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova. Mandatory verification of codes in public catering will begin on February 1, 2022, the date of the introduction of verification on transport the government will announce later. According to a source in the “Vedomosti”, the verification of vaccination certificates on transport may also be introduced in February. According to the Ministry of Transport, of the 58 million traveling Russians (from August 2020 to August 2021), only about 30% (18 million people) were vaccinated against coronavirus.

In forming a new position, the Ministry of Transport took into account that citizens should have the right to purchase tickets without restrictions, as well as the fact that tickets are often bought in advance – before departure you can have time to get vaccinated, explains one source. After discussing the topic in the Duma Committee on Transport, the text of the bill, already submitted to the State Duma, will be adjusted, added another interlocutor of “Vedomosti”.

In addition, the Ministry of Transport at a meeting confirmed plans to compensate airlines for losses from potential reductions in passenger traffic after the introduction of the inspection, the interlocutors said. According to preliminary estimates of S7 Airlines, air traffic when buying tickets by QR-code may decrease by 50%. As reported by “Vedomosti”, the ministry asked the Ministry of Finance to provide the industry in December in the form of compensation 809 million rubles .: 703 million rubles. – airlines and 106 million rubles. – airport.

Representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Transport declined to comment to Vedomosti. A spokesman for the Ministry of Finance said that the issue of compensation is currently under interdepartmental discussion.

Mikhail Poluboyarin, CEO of Aeroflot, and a representative of S7 opposed the introduction of verification of QR-codes at the stage of ticket sales. The Union of Business Tourism Agencies also sent a letter to the State Duma Committee on Transport in November asking to abandon the initiative, Vedomosti reported. The aviation industry will lose at least 15 billion rubles. monthly due to the requirements of checking codes when buying tickets, wrote “Kommersant” with reference to the assessment of economists of one of the airlines.

“Passengers most often buy tickets in advance when planning a summer vacation. It turned out that many have not yet been vaccinated, but will be able to do so before the flight. In this case, restricting sales without a certificate does not work in favor of airlines and not in favor of citizens. Of course, there will still be controversial situations with the codes, but this decision is a significant step forward. In any case, it is important for the government to plan expenses to support airlines so that we do not lose them after the pandemic, ”said Ilya Zotov, head of the All-Russian Passenger Association.

In the scheme proposed by the Ministry of Transport, it will no longer be necessary to check the QR-code when landing, and those who do not have a profile on the “State Services” will present the code in hard copy, – says avia.ru editor-in-chief Roman Gusarov . “It will remove a lot of issues related to the risks of flight delays.” He believes that “reports of a 50% drop in passenger traffic due to this measure are speculation”, as those who want to go on vacation and go abroad can get vaccinated. According to the expert, out of 120 million air passengers a year (passenger traffic of Russian airlines in 2019 amounted to 128 million people. – “Gazette”) unique people who flew at least half as many. “It is critical that the most active ones be vaccinated,” Gusarov said.

Elizabeth Khamidulin took part in the preparation of the material

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