Singapore Airlines trials pre-departure Covid tests to revive travel

Singapore Airlines trials pre-departure Covid tests to revive travel
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(Jan 20): Singapore Airlines Ltd has set up pre-departure coronavirus tests for passengers through its booking platforms as part of efforts to revive travel demand destroyed by the pandemic.

People flying from Singapore as well as those travelling to the city-state from Jakarta and Medan in Indonesia can take tests at clinics and get results within 36 hours. If negative, they can be used for travel, according to a statement from Collinson Group, which is working with Singapore Airlines on the program.

The trial service began Tuesday and is due to run until mid-March. Collinson said it has performed more than 90,000 Covid-19 tests for travellers in partnership with airlines and several UK airports, including London Heathrow.

“Our partnership with Singapore Airlines helps to enable the safe reopening of key routes for travellers and is another step forward in our aim to achieve the long-term, safe return of global travel,” Collinson Asia Pacific President Todd Handcock said in the statement. “To restore confidence in travel, the implementation of safe and robust testing protocols remains key.”

Like other carriers, Singapore Airlines has been hit hard by the pandemic, particularly so as it doesn’t have a domestic market to fall back on while border restrictions eviscerate international travel. Its passenger numbers slumped 82% in 2020. The airline started marketing its first-ever dollar bond last week to shore up its cash position.