Virgin Atlantic has become the first UK airline to introduce COVID-19 pre-flight testing at its Heathrow base for its cabin crew and pilots.
The initiative was launched on 30 September on flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong, with plans to extend the trial to Barbados and select services later in October, before a wider roll out to test every operating crew at least once per month.
The Virgin Atlantic trial is offering crew and pilots a rapid Point of Care Covid-19 RT LAMP test in In partnership with GeneMe UK, official distributor of the FRANKD test.
In independent laboratory tests, FRANKD is shown to be 100% specific and 97% sensitive to detecting SARS-CoV-2.
Through integration with the digital ID platform Yoti, the test process is fast, secure and does not require a lab. After a swab is taken on site, results are processed and delivered on the Yoti app within 30 minutes.
The health and safety of customers and crew remains Virgin Atlantic’s number one priority. The testing trial forms part of extensive measures already in place to ensure customers fly safe and fly well.
The airline has introduced several measures including disinfecting aircraft using hospital grade disinfectants as well as fogging (electrostatic spraying) of high-grade disinfectant before every flight.