Germany’s flagship airline Lufthansa has started testing passengers for COVID-19 under a new programme it hopes will ensure passenger and crew safety and encourage more people to fly amid the pandemic.
The airline said Thursday that all passengers on a Munich to Hamburg morning flight took an antigen test and were only allowed to board after the quick results showed they were negative for the new coronavirus.
The passengers were not charged for the test but had to block out about an hour extra time for it to be carried out and for the results to be ready, the airline said.
For the twice-daily flight during the trial period, passengers who refuse to be tested or who can’t show they had a negative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test no more than 48 hours before boarding, will be rebooked on another flight.
Working in cooperation with the two airports involved and medical experts, Lufthansa said it hopes to be able to gather data to determine how effective such testing is at ensuring the safety of flights. Lufthansa said it did not immediately have details on how many passengers were on board the first flight.