Airlines pressure US and EU to impose pre-flight testing to restore transatlantic travel

Airlines promote testing to restart transatlantic travel.

 

Several major airlines are urging the White House and the European Union to introduce a joint coronavirus testing program in order to restore transatlantic air travel.

 

In a letter to US Vice President Mike Pence and the EU commissioner for home affairs Ylva Johansson, IAG, American Airlines, the Lufthansa Group and United Airlines have all called for pre-flight testing for transatlantic flights.

 

The letter was also sent to the UK’s aviation minister Kelly Tolhurst.

 

“Given the unquestioned importance of transatlantic air travel to the global economy as well as to the economic recovery of our businesses, we believe it is critical to find a way to re-open air services between the US and Europe,” the letter reads.

 

“In addition to all the significant and unprecedented actions that governments and airlines are taking to prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus, a co-ordinated Covid-19 testing programme could be key to providing confidence to permit services to resume without quarantine requirements or other entry restrictions.”

 

The letter finished: “Nobody will benefit from a prolonged closure of this most indispensable corridor for global aviation.”

 

It is not clear whether the carriers prefer the testing to take place at the airport or at a testing facility where the information would be uploaded to a passenger database.

 

In a pilot scheme led by Lufthansa, some airports are already offering Covid-19 testing, with results being available within three hours.