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  • Joe Breitfeller

Delta and KLM to Offer COVID Tested Flights Between Atlanta and Amsterdam

From December 15th, Delta and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will offer COVID-tested flights between Atlanta and Amsterdam, thereby allowing customers to be exempt from quarantine restrictions upon arrival in Amsterdam.

Delta and KLM Launch COVID-Tested Flights Between Atlanta and Amsterdam - Courtesy Delta Air Lines

On Friday (December 4, 2020), Delta Air Lines announced that along with their partner, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, they will offer COVID-tested flights between Atlanta and Amsterdam, thereby exempting customers from quarantine after a negative test upon arrival. Starting December 15, 2020, the carriers will offer four weekly COVID-tested flights between Atlanta and Amsterdam with Delta and KLM each operating two frequencies. Only guests with a negative test result will be allowed to board and if the three week trial is successful, the airlines hope to extend the program to other markets. In Friday’s announcement, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines’ CEO, Pieter Elbers, said,

“This is a very important and great step forward. Until an approved working vaccine is available worldwide, this testing program represents the first step towards the international travel industry’s recovery. I am grateful for the constructive collaboration with our partners Delta Air Lines and the Schiphol Group and to have the support of the Dutch government to make this unique COVID- free travel corridor trial possible. All stakeholders need to work together on a systematic approach to rapid testing and build these tests into the passenger experience, so quarantine measures can be lifted as quickly as possible. This is fundamental to restore passengers’ and governments’ confidence in air travel.”

Also commenting on the new COVID-tested flights, Delta’s President – International and Executive Vice President – Global Sales, Steve Sear, added,

“Creating COVID-free travel corridors, in addition to the multiple layers of safety and hygiene measures we have implemented through the Delta CareStandard, will provide customers – and authorities – greater confidence that they can stay healthy when flying. Delta has worked with our partners and health authorities to reopen the skies safely and resume international air travel until a vaccine is in place removing the requirement of quarantine.”

When purchasing tickets online, customers will be able to choose COVID-tested flights or one of the alternative flights offered between Atlanta and Amsterdam, which aren’t part of the trial program. Normally, entry to the Netherlands requires a mandatory 10-day quarantine, but under the new program, by completing a negative PCR test five days before departure and self-isolating until the flight, a reduced quarantine is accomplished before departure. Once a customer completes a second negative PCR test at Amsterdam-Schiphol, they will be exempt from any further quarantine.

The program will be available to all citizens permitted to travel to the Netherlands for essential reasons such as certain specified work, health and education. Travelers planning to connect via Amsterdam to other destinations must still follow entry requirements as well as any mandatory quarantine at their final destination. Customers traveling on the Delta/KLM COVID-tested flights will be required to take a COVID-19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test five days before arrival in Amsterdam, take a rapid antigen test prior to boarding in Atlanta, and complete a second negative PCR test upon arrival at Schiphol.

Source: Delta Air Lines