Emirates – the Dubai headquartered airline became the first airline in the world to conduct a pre-flight COVID-19 test. All passengers on today’s flight to Tunisia were tested for COVID-19 at the Dubai Airport in co-ordination with Dubai Health Authority (DHA).
The rapid test was done at the check-in area with results being available in 10 minutes, as per the airline.
As social distancing becomes the norm and there is a limit on how long the lockdown can last, governments are looking at ways to get back to business. Airlines are particularly impacted as many airlines the world over are grounded, save for occasional cargo and repatriation flights.
Without an end in sight for COVID-19, airlines and the world will have to find a way out for safe operations and this could well become the norm going forward. With mass production, the cost of the test kit could become affordable and may well be included in the airfare of the passenger.
India has extended its lockdown until 3rd May 2020 and leading airlines have communicated on the plan of operations post lockdown. Middle seat empty, removal of reading material, minimal or no service, staggered boarding are some of the measures being planned.
However, passengers will continue to be sceptical. A rapid blood test could do wonders and could see additional passengers take to air travel.