American Airlines and BA trial free covid test on trans-Atlantic flights instead of trial quarantine rules

American Airlines and British Airways will conduct free COVID-19 tests.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Agency France-Press / Getty Images

American Airlines AAL,
+ 9.97%
And British Airways IAG,
+ 48.4848%
U.S. And the U.K. In an effort to persuade governments to start a coronavirus test trial the test could resume international travel and eliminate the need for passengers to be isolated on arrival.

The trial, which is also being run by the OneWorld Airlines alliance, aims to collect data from at least 500 passengers on flights to London Heathrow from three US cities, as part of three free COVID-19 tests. Their journey: one before departure, on landing, and three days after arrival.

The third test is intended to confirm the results of the first two tests, to show that the preflight test will allow the journey to resume safely, AA, BA and OneWorld said in a joint statement.

The hearing will run from November 25 to mid-December. The data collected from the trial will be collected by independent scientists and shared with UK ministers to help them leave the 14-day quarantine rule for arrivals from most countries.

Read: United Airlines tests COVID-19 ‘health pass’ to resume global travel

United Airlines UAL,
+ 4.53%
Flight UA14 from New York Liberty International Airport, along with the first volunteers arriving at Heathrow on November 17, also introduced a covid test trial. Airlines use Abbott ID Now COVID-19 test.

One of the 37 passengers on the flight tested positive the morning before, and was asked to postpone their stay.

Last week, the German airline Lufthansa LHA,
+ 0.63%,
Introduced mandatory preflight testing on special flights between Munich and Hamburg. Tests are free, and passengers who do not wish to test can book their flight free of charge.

Under current UK government policies, international travelers coming to the UK from the UK are required to self-isolate for 14 days even if they have a negative test for Covid-19.

Read: Heathrow Boss was optimistic about the London-New York Air Bridge by Thanksgiving

CN Doyle, BA’s chief executive, owned by the international consolidated airline ICAGY,
+ 2.67%,
He said the move was holding the UK back, as large economies such as Germany were testing to replace quarantine.

“For people coming from countries with high infection rates, they should be released from the quarantine after further investigation of arrival,” Doyle said.

AA chief executive Doug Parker said the results provided by the trial would be “important for the safe reopening of trans-Atlantic travel.”

Read: Here are the winners and losers of Europe from the Pfizer vaccine news

The tests were initially conducted by John F. Kennedy of New York. Selected B.A. from Kennedy International Airport and London Heathrow from Los Angeles. Selected AA on flights and from Dallas / Fort Worth to Heathrow. Will be offered on flights.

They will later be picked up on selected AA flights from JFK to Heathrow.

Research by the International Air Transport Association’s industry body suggests that the risk of contracting COVID-19 on an aircraft is very low, with only 44 cases of COVID-19 reported as associated with flights since the beginning of 2020. In the same period, about 1.2 billion passengers have traveled.

Published Oct. 27, Harvard University’s T.H. A study by the Chan School of Public Health found that a robust, multilayered strategy reduces the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during air travel.

“Our team found that, with their high-performance ventilation systems, actions performed by airlines – including mandatory use of face masks – significantly reduced the risks of viral transmission aboard the aircraft,” said Leonard Marcus, co-director. Aviation Public Health Initiative.