Alitalia has begun a one-month trial of Covid-tested flights on its Rome-Milan route.
Thelocal.it reports that the carrier is trialling what are probably the first such domestic flights in Europe.
The two flights in question (which are in addition to the regular scheduled services) are operating between Rome Fiumicino and Milan’s close-in Linate airport.
They are ‘special’ as only those passengers who have tested negative for coronavirus can use them.
From Rome the flights are AZ2038 at 1330 and AZ2092 at 1730. It’s an initiative from Lazio Region Ordinance and Aeroporti di Roma. Therefore these special flights are in one direction only.
Would-be passengers must either obtain a PCR or antigen swab test (no more than 72 hrs in advance) or else take the test at the airport before boarding.
Thelocal reports that passengers must arrive at least 90 minutes in advance then proceed to Terminal 3 to take the test, which involves a nasal swab for which the results are known in 30 minutes. Passengers receive a refund should the test prove negative.
Business Traveller checked the flights on Alitalia’s website this afternoon. Both were clearly marked in red as “Volo Covid-Tested” with further details posted in red at the top of the page.
Rome-Milan is a route over which Alitalia must compete against high-speed rail service by two operators: Trenitalia and Italo.
Italy is the only nation in Europe to have competing high-speed rail services on a domestic route (although Spain will have this too from December).
It remains to be seen whether or not this trial of Covid-tested domestic flights proves a success.