Skift Take

Why not? In the absence of coordinated government leadership, moves by airlines to open routes is at least a better solution if not the best one.

Delta Air Lines Inc is in talks with governments to add more quarantine-free trips to international destinations, after the first two such flights take off this week for Europe, an executive for the U.S. carrier said on Tuesday.

The aviation industry has largely backed the creation of such agreements, travel corridors and “bubbles,” where passengers testing negative for the novel coronavirus can fly without lengthy quarantines to stop COVID-19, as a way to revive battered demand.

The U.S. carrier’s two flights, which start on Tuesday from Atlanta to Amsterdam, require travelers to take multiple tests for the coronavirus, and are restricted to passengers making essential trips.

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

“This is the first step,” Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s senior vice president, alliances and international, told reporters on a call. “It could help us to create similar programs in other markets.”

(Reporting by Allison Lampert; Editing by Peter Cooney)

This article was written by Allison Lampert from Reuters and was legally licensed through the Industry Dive publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to [email protected].

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Photo credit: Boarding area at Atlanta's airport. Delta Air Lines wants additional long-haul routes with Covid-19 testing for travelers. Delta Air Lines

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