Airlines urge UK, U.S. to start London-New York passenger testing trial

WASHINGTON, Sept 3- Major airlines want the U.S. and British governments to launch a passenger testing trial for the coronavirus for flights between London and New York to pave the way for a resumption of more international travel. “One of the key steps to recovery is setting up an international pilot program between the U.S. and either Europe, Canada, somewhere in…

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON, Sept 3 (Reuters) – Major airlines want the U.S.and British governments to launch a passenger testing trial forthe coronavirus for flights between London and New York to pavethe way for a resumption of more international travel.

In a letter to government transportation officials seen byReuters, the chief executives of Airlines for America, AirlinesUK, Heathrow Airport and Virgin Atlantic Airways said bothgovernments should “establish passenger testing solutions in airtravel.

“We believe that in the immediate absence of a vaccine,testing of passengers in aviation provides the best and mosteffective frontline defense.”

They urged the governments to establish a testing trialbetween New York and London by month’s end “to gather real worldevidence and data.”

Sharon Pinkerton, senior vice president at Airlines forAmerica, which represents American Airlines Co, DeltaAir Lines, United Airlines and others, toldreporters on Thursday the industry wanted a pilot program tohelp boost international travel.

U.S. international travel has fallen by 87% during thecoronavirus pandemic, which has battered the airline industry.

“One of the key steps to recovery is setting up aninternational pilot program between the U.S. and either Europe,Canada, somewhere in the Pacific,” she said, saying that couldhelp eliminate some of the international quarantines now inplace.

The U.S. Transportation Department said it “stands ready tosupport the safe resumption of international flights between theU.S. and Europe. Conversations are ongoing between the federalgovernment, international partners, and industry stakeholders onthese matters.”

A UK government representative declined to comment on theproposal.

In March, U.S. President Donald Trump barred most non-U.S.citizens who had been in the UK recently from entering theUnited States – restrictions also imposed on travelers in theEuropean Union and China.

Americans can travel to the UK but have been required sincespring to spend two weeks in quarantine on arrival.(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Peter Cooney)

ANA NEWS WIRE Disclaimer:
The African News Agency (ANA) is a news wire service and therefore subscribes to the highest standards of journalism as it relates to accuracy, fairness and impartiality.
ANA strives to provide accurate, well sourced and reliable information across Text, Images and Video. Where errors do appear, ANA will seek to correct these timeously and transparently.
The ANA platform also contains news and information from third party sources. ANA has sought to procure reliable content from trusted news sources but cannot be held responsible for the accuracy and opinions provided by such sources on the ANA platform or linked sites.
The content provided for on the ANA News Wire platform, both through the ANA news operation and via its third party sources, are for the sole use of authorised subscribers and partners. Unauthorised access to and usage of ANA content will be subject to legal steps. ANA reserves its rights in this regard.
ANA makes every effort to ensure that the website is up and running smoothly at all times, however ANA does not take responsibility for, and will not be held liable for times when the website is temporarily unavailable due to technical issues that are beyond our control.