Test and fly: is this the new normal for air travel in the future?

At the age of pandemic, safety becomes the ONLY priority for travel, especially for airlines. For many, obsessive-compulsive disinfection is the key. For one, the only way to tackle an invisible enemy is to know where they are. Emirates Airlines debuts a new program, performing rapid on-site COVID-19 tests on its passengers. This test, administered by the Dubai Health Authority (DHA), produces results in a span of 10 minutes.

DHA’s medical staff, wrapped in their protective suits, masks, and gloves, held the test at Dubai International Airport’s Terminal 3 Check-in. Test certificates were given to those who tested negative – a piece of paper just as vital as one’s passport and visa.

It’s grim news for airlines: the industry is projected to lose a vast amount of their business in 2020, according to IATA’s latest study. As of early April, the number of flights around the world shrunk down to 80%, compared to 2019, no thanks to a range of domestic and international travel restrictions. Lockdowns are going to leave a lasting scar on the travel sector for a good part of this year, at the very least. However, Emirates’ move signals the possibility for a quicker revival of the airline sector.

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