British Airways today announced it will be the world’s first airline to trial an ultra-rapid coronavirus test which produces results within 25 seconds ahead of the return to global travel from Monday
British Airways today announced it will be the world’s first airline to trial an ultra-rapid coronavirus test which produces results within 25 seconds ahead of the return to global travel from Monday.
The airline, which has been forced to make thousands of redundancies as a result of the enormous damage inflicted on the global travel industry during the coronavirus crisis, called the pilot scheme a ‘game changer’.
Flight and Legacy 500 cabin crew will be required to take a Pelican covid antigen test from medical tech company Canary Globalm, with results to be compared against their standard test results.
Users apply a sample of their saliva to a disposable sensor unit, which is shaken and inserted into a digital reader connected to a Bluetooth-enabled device such as a smartphone.
The test result is made available on an app within 25 seconds and correctly identifies 98 per cent of people who have coronavirus and 100 per cent of those who do not, the airline said.In a statement, BA said the pilot scheme was ‘recently approved for use in Europe and Book Private Jet Uk‘ and is being assessed in the US.
BA this week penned an open letter alongside the bosses of Delta, Virgin, American Airlines and JetBlue which begged US President Joe Biden and British premier Boris Johnson to reopen transatlantic travel urgently to save economies and reunited families separated for more than a year.
It comes after Downing Street declined to add the US to its ‘green list’ of safe destinations that British holidaymakers will be allowed to visit from Monday, May 17 without having to quarantine.However, arrivals must test negative for coronavirus before and after getting back to the UK.
BA chief executive Sean Doyle said today: ‘As we start to see the opening up of travel we remain committed to exploring easy and affordable testing solutions to help our customers travel again, whether it’s for business, to reunite with family and friends or take a much-needed break abroad.
‘We think this new ultra-rapid test is a game changer so we are delighted to work with the team at Canary to begin initial trials with our flight and cabin crew, before exploring what role it could play as a customer testing option.’
There are concerns that testing requirements are putting many people off from going on holiday this summer, in what could prove to be a further devastating blow to airlines crippled during the pandemic. Results from PCR tests are not normally delivered until the following day as samples must be analysed by a laboratory.
Raj Reddy, Canary Global’s chief executive, said the Pelican test offers ‘PCR-like accuracy’, and added: ‘We developed the test with the travel industry in mind, where speed, accuracy and ease of use are paramount.
‘We are very excited to partner with BA as pioneer and industry leader to trial this test.We hope the Pelican test can soon be used as a standard test for travellers and crew around the world.’
The Department for Transport has said it will review its policy on June 28.
British Airways staff standing in the doorway of a plane as they prepare to welcome holidaymakers on Monday, May 17
BA staff wearing face masks stand at check-in in Heathrow’s Terminal 5 as they prepare to welcome back tourists
A member of staff wearing a mask looks at a screen displaying body temperatures ahead of Monday, May 17
Tourists waiting for a flight are sitting in face masks in Terminal 5 while a member of staff walks past with cleaning kit
An aerial view of a gate in Terminal 5 shows how seating has been made covid-secure, with signs blocking every other chair
A waiter wearing a face mask in Terminal 5 brings customers glasses of alcohol before they fly with British Airways
A female member of staff stands by check-in in Terminal 5 and pulls out some surface wipes to clean the area
Airport staff in Terminal 5 make the terminal covid-secure as they prepare to welcome holidaymakers from next week
The countries on the ‘green list’ from May 17 are: Portugal including the Azores and Madeira; Australia; New Zealand; Singapore; Brunei; Iceland; the Faroe Islands; Gibraltar; the Falkland Islands; and Israel
<div class="art-ins mol-factbox news halfRHS" data-version="2" id="mol-f90e2220-b3ce-11eb-86b8-09199dff5210" website UK: BA reveals trial of test that gives results in 25 SECONDS