United Airlines Launches Free COVID-19 Tests on Transatlantic Flights

United Airlines will launch free COVID-19 tests for transatlantic flights from November 16 through December 11.
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United Airlines Holdings Inc.  (UAL) - Get Report announced on Wednesday that it is launching a free COVID-19 testing program for transatlantic flights from November 16 through December 11.

The company will offer rapid coronavirus tests to passengers over the age of two and crew members who are boarding select flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to London Heathrow, United Airlines said in a statement.

United Airlines is partnering with Premise Health to provide the tests, which are given to passengers departing at 7:15 p.m on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Passengers and crew members are expected to schedule a testing appointment at least three hours before their flight, the company said. A testing facility will be located at the Newark United Club.

Those who don’t want to be tested for COVID-19 will be placed on another flight.

"We believe the ability to provide fast, same-day COVID-19 testing will play a vital role in safely reopening travel around the world and navigating quarantines and travel restrictions, particularly to key international destinations like London," said Toby Enqvist, chief customer officer for United.

The company will share customer feedback on the pilot program testing with governments on both sides of the Atlantic, examining the possibility of replacing mandatory quarantines or travel restrictions

On October 15, the airline offered passengers traveling from San Francisco International Airport to Hawaii the option to get tested for a fee before their flight either at the airport or through a drive-through testing facility.

The rapid testing program allowed passengers testing negative to bypass avoid Hawaii’s mandatory quarantine requirements.

United Airlines said that travel demand is improving because of the testing options offered.

During the first 10 days of the testing program that was implemented to those flying from San Francisco to Hawaii, the company said that it has seen a 95% increase in passengers compared to the prior two-week period.

Earlier this month, United Airlines Holdings Inc. shares traded lower after the carrier posted a wider-than-expected third-quarter loss that triggered thousands of job cuts millions in severance payments.