Starting Nov. 12, Lufthansa will start the first test runs for comprehensive COVID-19 antigen rapid tests on selected routes between Munich and Hamburg.
The airline is offering customers the opportunity to be tested for COVID-19 free of charge before departure on two daily flights.
Passengers who do not wish to be tested will be transferred to an alternative flight at no additional cost.
The first test flight with 100 per cent negative tested passengers is LH2058, which leaves Munich for Hamburg at 9.10 a.m. The second daily flight on which all passengers are tested is LH2059 from Hamburg to Munich.
Once the test is completed, customers receive their test results within 30 to 60 minutes. Only if the result is negative will the boarding pass be activated and access to the gate be granted.
Alternatively, passengers can present a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours at departure.
Lufthansa says it will take care of the complete rapid test procedure. There are no extra costs for the passenger. All they have to do is register in advance and allow a little more time before departure.
"With our test strategy, we are pursuing the goal of using the data obtained to gain important insights into the use of rapid tests. Successful testing of entire flights can be the key to revitalizing international air traffic," said Christina Foerster, Lufthansa Group Executive Board Member for Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility
Testing methods may come to Canada
The Lufthansa Group has called itself a front runner in COVID-19 testing, especially after establishing a commercial COVID-19 testing facility at Frankfurt airport, which is currently conducting more than 20,000 tests per day.
The facility, which opened in June, enables passengers departing from or arriving at Frankfurt Airport (FRA), as well as those from the region, to have access to PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, which can take between two to six hours to produce results.
Lufthansa has testing sites in Munich, Hamburg and Düsseldorf, and is looking to expand its methods to the United States and Canada, as the company revealed at a press conference in September.
“The situation is [that] it’s not easy to get a test if you need it,” he said. “We want to lower the hurdle for passengers to get these tests," said Dr. Björn Becker, senior director, product management, ground and digital services for Lufthansa, in September.
Becker, at the time, didn’t specify a timeline for when Lufthansa-run testing centres might potentially open in Canadian and U.S. airports, but stressed the importance of the expansion as both countries are “major markets.”
Lufthansa's latest efforts to offer COVID-19 testing on select routes reflects a partnership between Munich and Hamburg airports as well as with the biotech companies Centogene and the Medicover Group's medical care centre, MVZ Martinsried.
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