Image Courtesy: Delta
Delta and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines are working together to offer customers COVID-tested flights from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, effective Dec. 15th. The airlines partners are working with the Dutch government and both airports to deliver a thorough COVID-19 testing program that will allow customers to skip the quarantine period after receiving a negative PCR test result upon arrival in the Netherlands.
Pieter Elbers, President & CEO KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, said, “This is a very important and great step forward. Until an approved working vaccine is available worldwide, this testing program represents the first step towards the international travel industry’s recovery. I am grateful for the constructive collaboration with our partners Delta Air Lines and the Schiphol Group and to have the support of the Dutch government to make this unique COVID- free travel corridor trial possible.
“All stakeholders need to work together on a systematic approach to rapid testing and build these tests into the passenger experience, so quarantine measures can be lifted as quickly as possible. This is fundamental to restore passengers’ and governments’ confidence in air travel.”
The COVID-tested flights are expected to operate four times per week from Atlanta to Amsterdam, both airlines will be operating two frequencies each.
Only passengers with negative PCR test results will be accepted on board. The airlines hope to extend the program to other markets if the initial three weeks trial period is successful.
“Creating COVID-free travel corridors, in addition to the multiple layers of safety and hygiene measures we have implemented through the Delta CareStandard, will provide customers – and authorities – greater confidence that they can stay healthy when flying,” said Steve Sear, Delta President – International and Executive Vice President - Global Sales. “Delta has worked with our partners and health authorities to reopen the skies safely and resume international air travel until a vaccine is in place removing the requirement of quarantine.”
Royal Schiphol Group CEO Dick Benschop said: “This is an important step to validate that test regimes make safe and responsible air travel possible while reducing the need for travel bans and long quarantine measures. We thank the Dutch government and our partners”
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