Quarantine-free travel from US to Europe begins.
Delta Air Lines has established the first quarantine-free travel corridors between the US and Europe.
The first quarantine-free flight took place on Tuesday from Atlanta to Amsterdam, Netherlands where passengers underwent three Covid tests: one three days before departure, one at Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and one on arrival at Schiphol Airport.
Delta’s joint-venture partner KLM will also offer “Covid-free” travel on four of their 26 combined weekly Atlanta-Amsterdam flights.
A similar program for Atlanta-Rome will begin Saturday.
Rome passengers, however, are expected to take a fourth test, which will be carried out at Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport before returning to the US.
“By implementing a testing protocol in the U.S. for these COVID-free flights we’re able to make sure that these customers who are traveling are negative and they don’t pose a risk to society and their destination city,” Delta’s senior vice president of alliances and international, Perry Cantarutti, told ABC News.
According to reports, Delta is talking to other governments about launching additional quarantine-free flights, including a New York to Rome connection.
Although mass vaccinations have begun in the US and Europe, airlines are not waiting around for the vaccines to reverse the slump in travel demand.
“The arrival of a vaccine is fantastic news, but it will take time for it to become widely available around the world,” said Delta Senior Vice President Perry Cantarutti.
“It’s for this reason we have worked tirelessly with the authorities and our partners to create a blueprint for travel corridors that will enable air travel to safely resume.”