Get 40% Off
⚠ Earnings Alert! Which stocks are poised to surge?
See the stocks on our ProPicks radar. These strategies gained 19.7% year-to-date.
Unlock full list

Delta Air Lines in talks to add more quarantine-free flights

Published 12/15/2020, 05:07 PM
Updated 12/15/2020, 08:05 PM
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An airport worker stands on a tarmac next to a Delta Air Lines plane at Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

By Allison Lampert

(Reuters) -Delta Air Lines Inc is in early talks with governments to add more quarantine-free flights overseas, a company executive said on Tuesday, as the aviation industry turns to such testing-backed programs to revive demand battered by COVID-19.

The U.S. carrier is rolling out two quarantine-free flights this week to Europe, where passengers are required to be tested for the novel coronavirus.

The flights, which are restricted to essential travel to meet government requirements, begin later on Tuesday with a departure from Atlanta to Amsterdam.

"This is the first step," Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president, alliances and international, told reporters on a call. "Our focus is not just across the Atlantic. I think we’d like to see a similar program across the Pacific," he added.

“It’s a combination of certainly identifying the need and then finding an opportunity where you’ve got government authorities that are willing to have that conversation,” he added, without specifying the governments involved in the talks.

Even as COVID-19 vaccinations kick off this week in the United States and Canada, airlines see testing as the fastest way to resume international travel without quarantines since inoculation campaigns take time.

Airlines are on course to lose $157 billion this year and next, their main global body warned in November, in response to a second wave of coronavirus infections and shutdowns afflicting major markets.

Delta's tested flights to Amsterdam are operated with its partner KLM, the Dutch arm of Air France-KLM .

Delta will operate tested service to Rome three times a week starting on Saturday.

Countries are also taking steps to facilitate travel with Singapore, allowing a limited number of “high economic value” travelers under a “bubble” arrangement starting in January.

New Zealand agreed on Monday to allow quarantine-free travel with Australia in 2021.

Cantarutti said that after an initial trial period through late January, Delta hoped to leverage data and experience from the flights to help expand those routes to leisure travelers and reach agreements on other destinations.

Under the plan, passengers receive one test a few days before travel, another rapid-test shortly before departure in Atlanta, and a third test at the airport after landing.

The carrier is targeting markets for business travel, which has been hit harder than leisure during the pandemic.

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An airport worker stands on a tarmac next to a Delta Air Lines plane at Pittsburgh International Airport in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

"I certainly don't think this is the new norm," Cantarutti said of testing. "But as a tool to help us get the people of the world moving again, I think this is a useful program."

Latest comments

Risk Disclosure: Trading in financial instruments and/or cryptocurrencies involves high risks including the risk of losing some, or all, of your investment amount, and may not be suitable for all investors. Prices of cryptocurrencies are extremely volatile and may be affected by external factors such as financial, regulatory or political events. Trading on margin increases the financial risks.
Before deciding to trade in financial instrument or cryptocurrencies you should be fully informed of the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, carefully consider your investment objectives, level of experience, and risk appetite, and seek professional advice where needed.
Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. The data and prices on the website are not necessarily provided by any market or exchange, but may be provided by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual price at any given market, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Fusion Media and any provider of the data contained in this website will not accept liability for any loss or damage as a result of your trading, or your reliance on the information contained within this website.
It is prohibited to use, store, reproduce, display, modify, transmit or distribute the data contained in this website without the explicit prior written permission of Fusion Media and/or the data provider. All intellectual property rights are reserved by the providers and/or the exchange providing the data contained in this website.
Fusion Media may be compensated by the advertisers that appear on the website, based on your interaction with the advertisements or advertisers.
© 2007-2024 - Fusion Media Limited. All Rights Reserved.