Passengers using the new service won’t have to quarantine upon arrival if a negative test is obtained
KLM and Delta Air Lines have announced that they are launching Covid-19-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam from December 15, 2020.
The transatlantic partners have worked with the Dutch government, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to create the new testing scheme.
Customers taking part in the new program will be exempt from isolating upon arrival if a negative test result is acquired.
“Until an approved working vaccine is available worldwide, this testing program represents the first step towards the international travel industry’s recovery,” said Pieter Elbers, President and CEO of KLM. “All stakeholders need to work together on a systematic approach to rapid testing and build these tests into the passenger experience, so quarantine measures can be lifted as quickly as possible. This is fundamental to restore passengers’ and governments’ confidence in air travel.”
Flights will begin to operate four times a week from Atlanta to Amsterdam. The flights will run for three weeks initially, with the hope that the program will be extended pending its success.
When customers purchase their tickets, they will be able to choose the Covid-19 tested flights, or alternatively another daily flight that isn’t part of the trial.
Normally, entry requirements into the Netherlands require passengers to isolate for 10 days from arrival. However, if customers take a negative PCR test five days before arriving and ensure they self-isolate until departure, then they can eliminate the quarantine period when in the Netherlands.
Once a second negative PCR test at Schiphol Airport is collected, no quarantine will be necessary.
Dick Benschop, CEO of Royal Schiphol Group, said, “This is an important step to validate that test regimes make safe and responsible air travel possible while reducing the need for travel bans and long quarantine measures. We thank the Dutch Government and our partners.”
The new protocol has been introduced for those needing to travel to the Netherlands for essential purposes, such as work or education.