Delta has unveiled the schedule for its dedicated COVID-tested flights from Atlanta to Amsterdam. The flights are the first of their kind for a U.S. airline, allowing eligible customers to be exempt from quarantine upon entry into the Netherlands.
The flights will begin on Dec. 15 from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol and will initially operate for a three-week trial period. Delta will operate flights in conjunction with its trans-Atlantic partner KLM with both carriers operating two frequencies each per week. Delta will operate on Tuesdays and Fridays, and KLM flights will depart on Mondays and Wednesdays. All flights are available to book on delta.com.
“The start of these flights represents a pivotal moment in meaningfully restarting international travel,” said Delta’s Steve Sear, President – International and Executive Vice President – Global Sales. “Air travel is critical in supporting the global economy and enabling quarantine-free travel through rigorous testing protocols means customers can travel for essential purposes.”
Delta’s dedicated testing trial will exempt eligible customers – those permitted to travel to the Netherlands for essential reasons such as work, health and education – from quarantine on arrival in the Netherlands. To fly, customers must obtain a negative PCR test five days before travel, as well as a negative rapid test at Atlanta Airport prior to boarding. A second PCR test will then be carried out upon landing at Schiphol Airport. Once a negative result is received, customers will not need to quarantine. COVID tests taken at the airport are included in the ticket price.
The airline has engaged expert advisors from Mayo Clinic, a global leader in serious and complex healthcare, to review and assess the customer-testing protocols needed for Delta to conduct this flight program.
“Based on the modeling we have conducted, when the recommended testing protocols are combined with multiple layers of protection, including mask requirements, proper social distancing and environmental cleaning, we can predict that the risk of COVID-19 infection – on a flight that is 60 percent full – should be nearly one in a million,” said Henry Ting, M.D., M.B.A., Chief Value Officer – Mayo Clinic.