Lufthansa CEO expects coronavirus testing for long-haul flights

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Long-haul flights on Germany’s national air carrier could require a negative COVID-19 test or proof of a vaccine in the future. “Personally, I assume that in the future every passenger on certain intercontinental routes is either tested or vaccinated,” Lufthansa CEO Carsten Spohr told the Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

The global airline industry has suffered mightily from a sharp decline in air travel during the COVID-19 pandemic and Lufthansa is no exception. In an effort to make air travel more safe and feasible amid the challenges posed by continued outbreaks and travel restrictions, Spohr outlined a phased approach to the future of flying.

In the first phase, Lufthansa will increase the number of routes that employ rapid COVID-19 tests, Spohr said. “In the second phase, there will probably be an option between a test or proof of vaccination,” he said, adding that a vaccine certificate would become superfluous once the requisite level of immunity had been achieved.

Requiring vaccination to fly, as Australian national carrier Qantas is planning, is not in the cards for Lufthansa, however. “As an airline, we neither can nor want to stipulate that,” Spohr said.

Main Photo: Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Lufthansa AG Carsten Spohr. EPA-EFE/HASAN BRATIC

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