Lufthansa is to launch a pilot Covid-19 testing programme on selected flights between Munich and Hamburg, with the aim of ensuring “100 per cent negative passengers” on those services.
From November 12 the carrier will test passengers free of charge on two daily flights (one in either direction) using Covid-19 antigen rapid tests.
Customers will receive their results within 30 to 60 minutes, and “only on presentation of a negative test will the boarding pass be activated and access to the gate be granted”.
Alternatively passengers can present a negative PCR test taken no later than 48 hours at departure in order to be granted boarding.
Lufthansa said that “Those who do not wish to be tested will be transferred to an alternative flight at no additional cost”.
The testing programme is being launched in partnership with Munich and Hamburg airports, as well as biotech company Centogene and the Medicover Group’s medical care centre, MVZ Martinsried.
It will apply on daily flight LH2058 departing Munich at 0910, and return service LH2059 from Hamburg.
Lufthansa said that it would “take care of the entire testing procedure with no hidden or extra costs for the passenger”, adding that “passengers are simply required to register in advance and allow a little more time before departure”.
In September we reported that Lufthansa had delivered over 150,000 PCR tests at Frankfurt airport in partnership with Centogene.
At the time the carrier said that the programme “relieves the testing capacities of the health care system” and serves as a “blueprint for a successful test concept [helping] passengers entering Germany from high-risk countries”.
Commenting on the rapid tests Christina Foerster, Lufthansa Group Executive Board Member for Customer, IT and Corporate Responsibility, said:
“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.”
Earlier this year Alitalia launched a trial of Covid-tested flights on its Rome-Milan route.