Flights “covid proof“by which, earlier than boarding, passengers make a speedy antigen take a look at. It’s the wager of the airline Austrian Airways (AUA) and Vienna airport to interchange the (virtually) impassable mobility restrictions imposed by most nations on the earth through the coronavirus pandemic.
One of many sectors most affected by the virus is at stake. In October, a 80% fewer vacationers That the final 12 months.
The concept is easy: earlier than shopping for the tickets, the passenger is knowledgeable that their flight is “covid-proof” (“covid-19 examined flight”, in English), and that they’ve to come back to the airport a little bit upfront for take a free antigen take a look at when checking in, in a sales space subsequent to the counters.
In lower than quarter-hour obtain the outcome and whether it is damaging, you’ll be able to proceed to the boarding gate.
The method is being utilized, for now, to AUA flights between Vienna and Hamburg (Germany), though the airline hopes to increase it to extra routes sooner or later.
This antigen take a look at not used to interchange PCRthat also require most locations in Europe, however, in line with the Austrian airport, nothing prevents it from doing so sooner or later, so long as there are agreements at European stage.
“The concept is that, within the medium time period, the regulation of PCR is modified to one in all antigens”, explains Peter Kleeman, the Vienna airport spokesman, who insists that the velocity and ease of such a exams permits Covid take a look at many extra individuals and thus get well air tourism.
Based on Kleeman, this pilot expertise is for the corporate its manner of displaying “to different airways and to the European Fee that protected journey in instances of pandemic is feasible“.
“We imagine that there’s a want for European regulation for take a look at methods and journey methods,” says the spokesman, who doesn’t conceal his frustration with the dearth of coordination on the group stage to standardize entry and exit standards.
To date, AUA and the airport say, it has not been detected no optimistic case through the process.
This isn’t the primary expertise with antigen testing that Austrian Airways, belonging to the German group Lufthansa, has put to the take a look at at Vienna airport.
Between October 23 and November 8, a comparable process on the airline’s flights between Vienna and Berlin, though the antigen take a look at was then voluntary, and you might get on the airplane with out it.
On this second part, “covid-proof” flights solely enable entry to passengers who take the take a look at or convey one PCR made lower than 48 hours earlier than boarding, which has significantly elevated the quantity of people that determine to have it carried out when checking in.
“At first, the 25 % of individuals took the take a look at voluntarily. Now 70% of persons are examined right here on the airport, and 30% convey their very own PCR certificates, “explains AUA spokesperson Tanja Gruber.
He provides that AUA additionally hopes that such a expertise will serve to renew “vital connections with america.” “That’s what we’re working for,” he says.
A really close to future
Regardless of the obvious imminence of vaccination towards covid -Austria, like Spain, hopes to start out inoculating well being employees and the aged in residences from January, and the overall inhabitants a couple of months later-, Vienna airport he insists that options are wanted now.
“We’re very optimistic concerning the information concerning the vaccine,” explains Kleeman, “however it might nonetheless take some time for it to be out there to everybody.”
“What we want now’s a very fast repair to make air journey potential once more, and with antigen exams they’re potential, “says the spokesman.
Past the pandemic, Kleeman believes that this “added safety” when touring may turn into a part of the regular security process from airports.
“It makes flying safer, so we predict a few of these actions will proceed,” he says.
One thing comparable defends Gruber, for whom “medical certificates and comparable issues will proceed to be a part of our lives”, even after the pandemic.