On select flights, Emirates will now test passengers for coronavirus before they board. The United Arab Emirates’ flag carrier will carry out blood tests at the airport prior to travel. This makes the airline the first in the world to carry out such action.
The global aviation industry has taken a huge hit from the coronavirus pandemic. In order to get aircraft back into the skies once more and to restore confidence in travel, steps will need to be taken to minimise the risks of coronavirus transmission for passengers.
According to the airline, every passenger on Wednesday’s flight to Tunisia was confirmed to be free from coronavirus prior to boarding the aircraft.
Emirates didn’t detail how the blood test is carried out, but a video released by the carrier showed that the blood was taken from a pricked finger. This means that the test is fairly quick and stress-free.
Coronavirus tests at the airport have benefits for both the airline, and for passengers, who have been tested. The tests allow Emirates to ensure that it doesn’t carry coronavirus patients. This will help the airline to protect its own flight crew, and gives it confidence it isn’t implicit in spreading the virus around the world.
However, testing also has benefits for the passengers involved. For starters, it gives them the peace of mind that they don’t have the virus. Even better, Emirates pointed out that it is able to issue COVID-19 test certificates, which could be useful for passengers arriving in other countries. The results of the tests take just 10 minutes, although the airline didn’t comment on their accuracy.
Speaking of the testing initiative, Emirates Chief Operating Officer, Adel Al Redha, said the testing process went gone smoothly and they were working on plans to scale up testing capabilities in the future and extend it to other flights.
“This will enable us to conduct on-site tests and provide immediate confirmation for Emirates passengers travelling to countries that require COVID-19 test certificates.”