Alitalia has now implemented rapid COVID-19 testing on selected flights from Rome Fiumicino to Milan Linate. The trial is aimed at boosting passenger confidence, knowing that everyone onboard has been tested.
These flights will operate between 16th September and 16th October. Two flights each day will be COVID-free:
- AZ 2038 at 13:30 (7 days/week)
- AZ 2092 at 17:30 (Monday-Friday only)
Interestingly, these COVID-free flights are comparatively cheaper than other flights on the same route.
In order to board these COVID-free flights, passengers must present a medical certificate with a negative molecular (RT-PCR) or antigen test result; these test must have been carried out within 72 hours before boarding.
Otherwise, Alitalia is offering a free 30-minute coronavirus test; this can be taken on site at the airport. Passengers must stay in the testing area and arrive 1.5 hours prior to departure.
Despite airlines taking the best of precautions flying does present some risk of infection, however small. The flight between Rome and Milan is less than an hour; so if passengers follow mask directives and practice good hygiene, the flight is relatively safe.
However, Alitalia is experimenting with a “new, even safer way to fly” which may become commonplace as global travel begins to resume. When countries reopen their borders, rapid testing at the port of departure may be a requirement for entry.
So while the experience might seem slow, it does provide a peace-of-mind and is setting a trend that may be necessary to control the spread of COVID-19.