The airline Alitalia markets “coronavirus-free” flights

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(CNN) – If you could reserve a seat on a flight where you were guaranteed not to catch the coronavirus, would you?Alitalia is an airline that bets the answer to this question is ‘yes’.

The Italian national carrier has announced that it will test flights between Rome and Milan, where each passenger must confirm that they have tested negative for the virus. These flights are identified as “tested by Covid”.

There are two ways to do this: by getting tested within 72 hours of the flight and bringing a negative certificate to the airport, or by getting a negative result from a rapid antigen test at the Covid testing center. of the airport. These flights will have a dedicated security line for added security.

And the test alone is not enough for a boarding pass: “Before boarding, a doctor from the Ministry of Maritime, Air and Border Health (USMAF) will check the validity of the certificate already held by the passengers”, Alitalia explained in a press release.

At present, this testing procedure is not much different from what many airlines do around the world. But labeling the flight “Covid-tested” could provide much-appreciated peace of mind to travelers who fear boarding a plane in the middle of a pandemic.

The One Mile at a Time aviation blog notes that some of these flights are already available for booking on Alitalia’s website and are priced the same as unreserved flights serving the route.

For Alitalia, the way forward is not just about making passengers feel safe on board.

Earlier this month, Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) recently received the first five-star “Anti-Covid” award in Europe (and so far the only one) from the international airlines rating body. Skytrax aerials. The airline has transformed one of its parking lots into a mobile Covid test facility, accessible to travelers and non-travelers.

It’s unclear what will happen with the “Covid-tested flights”, however. Does that mean passengers wouldn’t have to wear masks on board or that the airline will be able to occupy the middle seats?

For now, this experience remains an experience.

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