European low-cost airline easyJet has signed deals with two private healthcare firms to offer discounted COVID-19 tests for passengers who book flights with the airline or its sister easyJet Holidays business. The offer, which will initially only be available in the UK, comes just over a week after quarantine rules were relaxed in England by allowing arrivals from high-risk areas to take a test after just five days.
Most private COVID-19 tests cost from between £120 to £200 but easyJet passengers will soon be able to get their hands on a home testing kit for just £75 through healthcare company Confirm Testing. A separate deal with CityDoc prices a home testing kit at £100 or an in-person appointment at £150.
Both companies offer PCR lab testing and aim to provide results within 48-hours which can also be used for countries like Spain and Italy that require negative COVID-19 test certificates ahead of travel. easyJet said it was negotiating reduced test prices with companies in several other European countries.
After the UK government changed quarantine rules through its ‘test to release’ programme, the boss of Gatwick Airport said it had seen an immediate boost in the demand for travel and hoped to see more flights operating out of the airport by mid-December.
Separately, easyJet reported a near 200 per cent increase in new bookings when the British government announced Coronavirus restrictions would be significantly eased over the Christmas period.
“We know underlying demand is there, which we see every time travel restrictions are lifted,” commented easyJet chief executive Johan Lundgren.
“We continue to push for testing the efficacy of rapid testing technologies like antigen and LAMP testing which could be undertaken on departure at the airport and for further reducing quarantine, making it easier and less onerous for people to travel,” Lundgreen said on Monday.
Last week, Wizz Air announced its own deal with Confirm Testing with a discounted rate of £85 for a test either before or after flying.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.