Photo: Dirk Daniel Mann/Shutterstock

Major Airlines Propose Joint COVID-19 Testing Program to Resume Transatlantic Travel

News Airports + Flying
by Eben Diskin Jul 22, 2020

Right now, traveling to Europe as a US citizen is near impossible and it’s hard to imagine when things will change. Major airlines, however, are advocating for the resumption of transatlantic travel as soon as possible, by calling for a joint COVID-19 testing program between the US and EU.

On Tuesday, the CEOs of United, American, IAG (which owns British Airways and Iberia), and Lufthansa airlines wrote that “given the unquestioned importance of transatlantic air travel to the global economy as well as to the economic recovery of our businesses, we believe it is critical to find a way to reopen air services between the U.S. and Europe.”

The letter, written to US Vice President Mike Pence and to Ylva Johansson, the European commissioner for home affairs, was addressed “with urgency.” According to the airlines, a testing program would be an effective way for the US and Europe to restore transatlantic travel in a safe and responsible manner.

Currently, the EU has a travel ban in place for US travelers, barring them from entering most EU member countries. The ban was put into place due to the US’ rising COVID-19 numbers, but also has consequences for EU countries that rely on US tourism for the strength of their economy.

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