German giant Lufthansa will soon begin the first test to test all passengers for coronavirus before the flight takes off. Starting on Thursday, November 12, all passengers on individual flights between Munich and Hamburg will be able to take a free fast antigen test, the company announced in Frankfurt on Friday.
Alternatively, passengers may have a negative PCR test not exceeding 48 hours or may be transferred free of charge to another flight. Test results should be available after 30 to 60 minutes.
According to Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr, the company purchased 250,000 antigen tests to study the processes. The airline hopes that the quick tests will allow it to offer more flight connections again, especially abroad.
“Successful testing of entire flights can be the key to relaunching international air traffic,” said Christina Foerster, a board member.
Within the Lufthansa group, rapid tests have already been tested on flights of Austrian subsidiary airlines between Berlin and Vienna. Spohr said he was convinced the pharmaceutical industry could quickly deliver much larger amounts of rapid tests than has been the case so far. Antigen tests provide faster results, but so far less accurate than PCR tests.
Lufthansa posted a net loss of 2 billion euros in the third quarter on Thursday as it prepares for a “tough and challenging” winter amid blockages to reduce the coronavirus pandemic, Spohr said.
The largest airline in Europe said it would fly a maximum of 25% of normal capacity from October to December and expects to earn 350 million euros in cash per month.