SunExpress starts trials for Covid-19 rapid antigen tests

9. December 2020 - 10:56

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SunExpress, a joint venture of Lufthansa and Turkish Airlines, began its first trial for the Covid-19 rapid antigen test on December 8 with flight XQ181, which took off at 3:10 pm leaving Düsseldorf for Antalya.

The airline, in cooperation with Düsseldorf Airport and Malteser, will offer its passengers voluntary Covid-19 rapid antigen tests free of charge before departure on all flights from Dusseldorf to Antalya initially for a trial period until December 31, 2020. After the test run, SunExpress will look into the possibility of implementing the rapid antigen tests, which provide test results in 15 minutes, on more of its flights from Germany to Turkey.

Max Kownatzki, CEO of SunExpress, said: “We are the first airline to conduct rapid antigen testing trials for passengers from Germany to Turkey. We intend to use the insights gained during the initial trial period to determine our testing strategy for the upcoming months.”

Complimenting the PCR testing on routes from Turkey to Germany, Kownatzki said: “The Turkish government successfully implemented a gold standard PCR testing regime and also managed to set up an infrastructure that is able to provide results within 48 hours before departure. Flights from Turkey to Germany are 100 per cent PCR-tested. Antigen testing could provide a potential solution for flights from Germany to Turkey.”

SunExpress passengers will be able to choose whether to participate in the trial run during check-in. Passengers who agree to be tested will receive their results within 15 minutes.  Passengers testing positive will not be permitted to fly but will be able to rebook free of charge.