Dutch airline KLM announced Friday that it would begin offering COVID-19 testing on flights between Amsterdam and Atlanta, to increase passenger confidence in flying amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
Plans are focused on the concept of conducting multiple tests so that travelers can be more confident that the chances of them or others carrying the virus during their trip are minimal.
According to KLM’s plan, passengers receive a test five days before their flight, another shortly before the flight and a third after landing, Reuters reported.
“Only passengers with negative results will be accepted on board,” said KLM in a statement.
After giving negative again on arrival at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport, U.S. and European Union passengers traveling from Atlanta will be able to skip a five-day quarantine in the Netherlands.
KLM’s flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam will run four times a week starting Dec. 15, the company said, adding that it intends to adopt the system more widely if it is successful.
“Until an approved vaccine is available worldwide, this testing program represents the first step toward recovery for the international travel industry,” KLM CEO Pieter Elbers said in a statement.
Alitalia will also offer testing of COVID-19 for flights between Rome and New York starting Dec. 8, the airline and Rome’s Fiumicino airport operator announced Friday.
The announcement follows a Ministry of Health order issued last month, effective February 15, indicating that passengers returning between Rome and U.S. destinations can take COVID-19 tests 48 hours before departure or arrival at the airport, to avoid the mandatory 14-day quarantine.
Last week, Delta Air Lines was the first to introduce quarantine free flights between Atlanta and Rome, provided they test negative on three tests that are performed.
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