Arab airlines first to use Interpol stolen passport lists

Arab airlines first to use Interpol stolen passport lists

Two Arab airlines have been named as the first to screen passengers against Interpol's vast database of lost and stolen travel documents, amid an ongoing search for a Malaysia Airlines jet Al Arabia reported.

The international police organization said on Tuesday it would allow Qatar Airways and Air Arabia to search its databases to verify passengers' details, AP reported. Air Arabia later denied knowledge of such a plan, a spokesperson told Al Arabiya News.

"I have announced today that Qatar Airways and Air Arabia are two airlines that have committed themselves to making sure that all passengers boarding their planes will have their passport data screened against Interpol's database," Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble told reporters at its headquarters, AP reported.

The move is designed as a test project that, if continued, would see more airlines check passenger passports against Interpol's database before they are allowed to fly.

Interpol's database was previously only searchable by national authorities such as border police. But the test could see the police agency open up its database to more airlines and private-sector companies.

Despite the database being available to authorities to search, AP reported that only a handful of countries actively use it - primarily the United States, Britain and the United Arab Emirates.

Noble said that travelers boarded planes without their passports being checked against the database more than 1 billion times in 2013, AP reported.

Air Arabia and Qatar were chosen to test the idea because they approached Interpol and expressed an interest, said Michael O'Connell, director of Interpol's operational police support directorate.

Air Arabia however denied knowledge of any agreement with Interpol.

"As far as Air Arabia is concerned, we don't have knowledge of any agreement signed with the International Police Organization with regards to test projects as such," a spokesperson told Al Arabiya News. "While we fully support and adhere to all national and international procedures, we follow the UAE state regulations and guidelines in this regards."

Qatar Airways did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Aviation analyst Saj Ahmad of StrategicAeroResearch.com, said Interpol's move to allow airlines to check the database was long overdue.

"This sort of checking should have been in place post 9/11, not because of what's happening with the missing Malaysian 777," he said.

Despite this, the system is not "100 percent error-free", the analyst said.

"It can invariably flag up genuine passengers as suspects incorrectly if the Interpol database is not updated or checked routinely," he said. "But as with any security concept, the true value of its longevity is implementation and that will determine whether it's a system worth employing."

Ahmad said he expects other airlines to follow the two Arab carriers in signing up to the Interpol system.

"No airline will want to be accused of passport checking incompetence. Given security checks and increased monitoring we have at airports, why this is not mandatory is beyond me," he told Al Arabiya News.

Dubai's Emirates airline would not comment on whether it planned to implement the system. "The security of our passengers and crew is a top priority. We work closely with all relevant authorities, but for obvious reasons, we don't discuss security details," said an Emirates spokesperson.

Abu Dhabi's Etihad did not immediately respond to a request for comment when contacted by Al Arabiya News.

Ahmad cautioned that the system could bring extra costs to passengers in the long run. "Interpol will want redress for it and whether airports pass on this levy to airlines or passengers directly, somewhere along the line, someone will have to shoulder the costs," he said.

It is not yet clear whether stolen passports had anything to do with Saturday's disappearance of a Boeing 777 bound from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Beijing with 239 people on board. Interpol yesterday released an image of two Iranians who used valid Iranian passports to get to Malaysia, then boarded the flight with stolen European passports.

The search for the missing jet continues.

Forum in New Zealand focuses on New Zealand-China economic cooperation, development opportunities
Forum in New Zealand focuses on New Zealand-China economic cooperation, development opportunities
Samsung sees pandemic-led appliances boom extending run to rest of year
Samsung sees pandemic-led appliances boom extending run to rest of year
26 COVID-19 patients dead allegedly due to oxygen shortage in India's Goa
26 COVID-19 patients dead allegedly due to oxygen shortage in India's Goa
Loading Bars
Latest
Forum in New Zealand focuses on New Zealand-China economic cooperation, development opportunities
WHO head claims as global COVID cases drop to 630,000 per day
US Department of Energy retains forecast for Brent oil price at $62.3 per barrel in 2021
Samsung sees pandemic-led appliances boom extending run to rest of year
Next meeting on electoral reform to be held on May 14-16
Central Bank of Azerbaijan allocates funds to support financial literacy
Turkish State Mine Administration opens tender for rental of vehicles
Lending to electricity sector in Azerbaijan increases
Kazakh KazMunayTeniz to buy diesel fuel via tender
Iran's Petropars Company orders equipment from local manufacturers
Turkey reports over 14 400 COVID-19 cases
Some of children may be taken to Moscow for treatment after school shooting in Kazan
UN chief condemns Kazan school shooting
Gaza block collapses after Israeli strike, rocket hits Tel Aviv building
Kazakhstan supports solution of Palestinian-Israel conflict by peaceful means
Georgia likely to receive Novavax and Johnson & Johnson vaccines in July
Kazakhstan’s liquids production down in March - OPEC
COVID-19 cases decrease in 80 provinces in a week
Iran, Afghanistan discuss Afghan peace process
Israeli PM says to increase strikes against Gaza militants
Arab FMs kick off emergency meeting on Jerusalem tensions
Hamas and Israel step up attacks as Jerusalem unrest ignites Gaza
No need to evacuate people injured in Kazan school shooting to Moscow
Сompetition season of 2021 successfully started - European Gymnastics President
Identification of victims in Kazan school shooting completed
26 COVID-19 patients dead allegedly due to oxygen shortage in India's Goa
Japan's COVID-19 patients in "serious condition" hit fresh record high
Azerbaijani president, first lady express condolences to president of Tatarstan
President Aliyev expresses condolences to Russian counterpart
Iran's Energy Exchange announces products to be on sale on May 12
Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to rise in Iran
Foreign investors waiting for decision related to FATF in Iran – official
Azerbaijani journalists view State Border Service's Military Hospital in liberated Gubadly (PHOTO)
Demand for OPEC crude in 2021 revised up
Turkish export of electrical goods to Azerbaijan drops
Shares of Kazakhstan's KAZ Minerals delisted from stock exchange
Export Development Bank of Iran to provide loans to startup companies
Data on cargo shipment through Turkish Kocaeli port over 1Q2021 revealed
Kazakhstan reports increase in new housing prices
Azerbaijan's ADIF continues compensating depositors of closed banks
Turkey sees increase in cement exports to Georgia
Cargo movements in Iran’s Shahid Rajaee port increase
OPEC marks increase in Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil exports
Guaranteed wheat purchasing from farmers in Iran continues
Iran to inaugurate new airport in Kurdistan Province
Iran to build new factory at Amirabad port
OPEC revises up forecasts for Azerbaijan’s liquids supplies in 2021
Azerbaijan reveals number of vaccinated citizens for May 11
Azerbaijan confirms 514 more COVID-19 cases, 1,306 recoveries
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for May 11
Iran’s PMO unveils volume of cargo transportation via Abadan Port
Iran shares unemployment data
Georgia export to Germany increased by 40%
Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan eye accelerating implementation of roadmap for industrial co-op
FDA to attract funds to support reforms in Uzbekistan
Uzbek-Chinese JV opens tender for spares for gas pumping units
Iran starts mass production of coronavirus vaccine
Russia boosts steel imports from Turkey
Volume of cargo shipment via Turkish Karabiga port in 1Q2021 revealed
Renewables to account for 90% of total global power capacity increases in 2021-2022
Annual renewable capacity additions reach highest level since 1999
Oil dips as pipeline outage fears ease, India weighs
First batch of Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Azerbaijan just a few days ago, more significant shipments expected later this month - Russian FM
Statements reeking of revanchism, are very dangerous, first of all for Armenian side - President Aliyev
Restriction on movement likely to ease in late May in Georgia
Since end of hostilities, we transferred all prisoners of war - President Aliyev
Azerbaijan shows goodwill in matters related to humanitarian issues - President Aliyev
Post-conflict situation, of course, dictates need for closer contacts at all levels - President Aliyev
Heroization of Nazism in all its forms - unacceptable - Azerbaijan FM
Gaza escalation weighs on shekel
Issue of unblocking transport in region must be prioritized - Azerbaijani FM
Humanitarian issues must be resolved as quickly as possible - Russian FM
Russian FM notes key factor in normalizing situation in Karabakh
Russia highly appreciates work of trilateral group of deputy prime ministers of three countries - Russian FM
Azerbaijan committed to fulfilling its obligations under trilateral agreement - Azerbaijani FM
Nine killed in Kazan school shooting
Second batch of Sputnik V vaccine to be delivered to Azerbaijan by late May - Russian FM
FMs of Azerbaijan, Russia sign plan of consultations for 2021-2022 (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan condemns all terror acts - Azerbaijani FM
Uzbekistan reveals number of vaccinated people
Uzbekistan considers attracting French companies to partake in state assets privatization
Uzbekistan signs memorandum of understanding with French Rothschild & Cie
Uzbekistan reveals numbers of companies with dominant position in market
Uzbekistan taking measures to improve availability of public services
Iran and India trade declines due to COVID-19
Azerbaijani president congratulates Azerbaijani people on Ramadan holiday
Armenian railways are owned by Russian railways, therefore, we are discussing issue mainly with Russian side - President Aliyev
Indian Army sets up 100-bedded hospitals in Faridabad, Chandigarh, Patiala
Indian FY22 growth may slip to 8.2%: Crisil
Twitter Donates $15 Million For COVID-19 Relief In India
President Ilham Aliyev criticizes statements of Canada's, France's MFAs: Let them mind their own business
Startups fight COVID-19: How healthtech startup Meddo is helping tackle the hospital bed crisis
Outpouring of support from US for India, Covid-19 help touches USD half a billion
Zangazur corridor must and will be opened - President Aliyev
PFPA-Musavat duo mobilized all their resources to overthrow Heydar Aliyev in Nakhchivan - President Aliyev
This visit to Nakhchivan has great symbolic meaning - President Aliyev
President Aliyev warns revanchists in Armenia: They shouldn’t play with fire
Military equipment available to Nakhchivan Army today probably superior to equipment of some advanced countries - President Aliyev
Russian FM visits tomb of National Leader Heydar Aliyev
There is no territorial unit called Nagorno-Karabakh in Azerbaijan - President Aliyev
All news