Jim Byers’ Travel Blog: Rapid Pre-Flight Tests From Lufthansa + Sunwing Back to Flying
November 6, 2020 Admin
Lufthansa is beginning rapid pre-flight COVID testing, a move that could go a long way to restoring public confidence in flying. I also have optimistic news from Hilton Hotels, as well as good news from both Air Transat and Sunwing airlines here in Canada. My “Signs of Hope” travel blog for Friday, November 6.
LUFTHANSA BEGINS PRE-FLIGHT COVID TESTING
On November 12, Lufthansa will start the first test runs for comprehensive Covid-19 antigen rapid tests on selected routes between Munich and Hamburg.
In close cooperation with Munich and Hamburg airports as well as with the biotech companies Centogene and the Medicover Group’s medical care center, MVZ Martinsried, the airline is offering its customers the opportunity to be tested for Covid-19 free of charge before departure on two daily flights. Passengers who do not wish to be tested will be transferred to an alternative flight at no additional cost.
The first test flight with 100% negative tested passengers is LH2058, which leaves Munich for Hamburg at 9.10 a.m. The second daily flight on which all passengers are tested is LH2059 from Hamburg to Munich.
Once the test is completed, customers receive their test results within 30 to 60 minutes. Only if the result is negative will the boarding pass be activated and access to the gate be granted.
Alternatively, passengers can present a negative PCR test not older than 48 hours at departure. Lufthansa takes care of the complete rapid test procedure.
There are no extra costs for the passenger. All they have to do is register in advance and allow a little more time before departure.
“With our test strategy, we are pursuing the goal of using the data obtained to gain important insights into the use of rapid tests. Successful testing of entire flights can be the key to revitalizing international air traffic,” says Christina Foerster, Lufthansa Group Executive Board Member for Customer, IT & Corporate Responsibility.
HILTON HOTELS OPTIMISTIC
It’s been a terrible eight months for the hotel industry. And things are a mess again in Europe. But the guy at the top at Hilton Hotels is sounding an upbeat tone these days.
From April to September, growth in occupancy has grown worldwide on an average of 32%.
“Our third quarter results show meaningful improvement over the second quarter,” said Hilton President and CEO, Christopher J. Nassetta.
“The vast majority of our properties around the world are now open (97%), and have gradually begun to recover from the limitations that the COVID-19 pandemic has imposed on the travel industry, with occupancy increasing more than 20 percentage points from the second quarter.
“While a full recovery will take time, we are well positioned to capture rising demand and execute on growth opportunities,” Nassetta said.
SUNWING BACK IN THE SKIES TODAY
There should be tons of smiles at Sunwing today, as they’re making their first scheduled commercial flight since March.
Sunwing today flies from Toronto to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
To celebrate, they’re offering great savings on the Canadian-owned-and-operated Royalton Luxury Resorts. For a limited time, sun-seekers can save up to 50% on last-minute vacation packages to Royalton Luxury Resorts, Hideaway at Royalton, Royalton CHIC and Mystique by Royalton.
TRANSAT FLYING TO CUBA AGAIN
Air Transat officially resumed operations to Cuba on Tuesday, November 3.
It operated two flights to Holguin from Toronto and Montreal, carrying a total of 370 passengers, becoming the first Canadian airline to land at Holguin in months.
Speaking of Cuba, reports out of the island country say that Havana’s airport, which has been closed since March, is likely to re-open on November 10.