Delta’s first COVID-tested flight departs Atlanta, charting path to global recovery

Published on : Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Delta customers with essential travel needs can now fly from Atlanta to Amsterdam without having to quarantine after arrival, and with the knowledge that their fellow passengers and crew are COVID-19 negative after undergoing pre-flight testing protocols.


Tuesday’s COVID-tested flight, with no quarantine after arrival, is the first of two the global carrier is launching this week, with an Atlanta to Rome option starting Saturday, Dec. 19.

“Air travel is the backbone of the global economy. In normal times, it supports more than 87 million jobs and contributes to $3.5 trillion in GDP worldwide,” said Perry Cantarutti, Delta’s Senior Vice President -Alliances and International. “The arrival of a vaccine is fantastic news, but it will take time for it to become widely available around the world. It’s for this reason we have worked tirelessly with the authorities and our partners to create a blueprint for travel corridors that will enable air travel to safely resume.”

Delta is the first U.S. airline to offer COVID-free, quarantine-free flights between the U.S. and Europe, which allow customers to avoid quarantine after testing negative for the virus prior to travel and upon arrival in the Netherlands and Italy.

COVID-tested flights to Amsterdam are operated in conjunction with Delta’s trans-Atlantic partner KLM and will depart four days a week, with both carriers operating two frequencies each. Delta, meanwhile, will operate service to Rome three times a week. These flights are clearly identified in the Delta.com booking process so customers can see which flights require the new testing process.

Both trial programs will be available to all citizens permitted to travel to the Netherlands or Italy for essential reasons, such as for certain specified work, health and education reasons. Customers who are transiting via Amsterdam to other countries will still be required to follow entry requirements and any mandatory quarantine in place at their final destination.

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