The COVID-19 pandemic hit Italy hard. In response, the country’s flag carrier, Alitalia, is trialing COVID-tested flights between Rome and Milan. The month-long trial will include two daily flights exclusively for travelers who test negative for coronavirus.
The test flights, between Rome Fiumicino and Milan Linate that began Sept. 16, are a way to increase customer confidence and reassure uncertain travelers. Travelers must present evidence of a negative COVID-19 test. As a result, Alitalia can brand them COVID-free flights.
Alitalia uses a dedicated testing center in Fiumicino’s Terminal 3. A rapid antigen test using a nasal swab reveals results in 30 minutes. The airport is also the first in the world certified with SkyTrax’s COVID-19 5-Star Airport Rating. Passengers can also provide evidence of a negative test taken elsewhere, no more than 72 hours earlier. Those tests can be either a molecular RT-PCR test or antigen swab.
If passengers test positive, the airline will provide a full refund. If passengers don’t wish to be tested, they can transfer to another flight at no extra cost. The flights also have a dedicated security line for extra safety.
The route from Rome to Milan serves almost 1.1 million passengers annually. It is the third-busiest domestic corridor from Rome Fiumicino. Alitalia is the only airline serving this route with seven weekday flights each way.
Would you travel more if more airlines implemented a similar system? If everyone onboard presented a negative COVID-19 test before boarding, would you feel safe flying without a mask? Would you submit to a COVID test in order to board a flight? Do you think this is the future of air travel? Tell us about it. Email us at [email protected]. Please include your full name and location.
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