Lufthansa to offer passengers coronavirus tests before flights
Germany’s flagship airline, Lufthansa, is set to offer passengers rapid coronavirus tests before their flights in a bid to make air travel safer and revive the struggling industry.
Pre-flight coronavirus tests
German airline Lufthansa announced on Friday that it would offer free rapid antigen tests to all passengers on individual flights between Munich and Hamburg. After taking the test, passengers should receive their results within 30 minutes to an hour. The move is a trial for more widespread pre-flight testing and will start on Thursday, November 12.
Lufthansa has purchased 250.000 antigen tests and will begin to implement the procedure with the objective of examining and streamlining the process. Christina Foerster, who is on the board at Lufthansa, explained that the airline hopes that the pre-flight rapid tests will facilitate the resurgence of air travel, especially internationally, despite COVID-19. “Successful testing of entire flights can be the key to reviving international air traffic,” she said.
Any passengers that do not want to take the test can either present a negative PCR test, provided the results were received within the previous 48 hours, or be transferred to another flight at no extra cost.
Revitalising the airline industry
Free rapid testing has already been implemented by Austrian Airlines, a subsidiary of Lufthansa, on flights between Vienna and Berlin. The CEO of Lufthansa, Carsten Spohr, said he believed that the pharmaceutical industry could quickly supply the airline with many more tests, should they need them.
Sphor has warned of a tough winter period ahead for the airline after the company recorded a loss of two billion euros for this year’s third fiscal quarter. The airline will fly at 25 percent capacity between October and December and expects to lose 350 million euros every month.