Brussels Airlines to trial quick on-board Covid-19 tests

Brussels Airlines to trial quick on-board Covid-19 tests
Illustration picture shows Flemish Mobility Minister Lydia Peeters on a Brussels-Antwerp flight in June 2020. © Belga

Brussels Airlines is considering using rapid coronavirus tests on board flights as it seeks to drag itself out of the travel slump brought on by the pandemic.

Presenting the company's third-quarter postings, CEO Dieter Vranckx said that the company was working on making the tests available on certain flights.

Rapid testing, Vranckx said, could be a key part of larger structural plans to get the hard-hit air travel industry back on its feet after the pandemic, and should be included in EU-wide travel regulations.

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"As travel restrictions, quarantines and complexity continue to put a heavy burden on travel demand, we plead for a Europe-wide approach for travel regulations in combination with a comprehensive quick testing approach as part of the travel journey," the airline boss said.

" As a first step in this direction, we are working on trials with rapid COVID-19 antigen tests soon on specific flights," he added.

The national carrier pledged to continue erring on the side of caution while pursuing its reboot plan, namely by pursuing "strict" regulation of onboard capacity

In his statement, Vranckx provided little detail regarding a prospective launch date for the pilot testing project.

The announcement coincides with news that the free fall of passenger traffic brought on by the coronavirus pandemic blew a €233 million hole in the company's budget, according to results over the first three quarters.

The company in July announced that it had clinched a deal with the Belgian government who agreed to a loan of €290 million to help it recover from the blow of viral pandemic.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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