KLM Royal Dutch Airlines will keep running long-haul international services following the agreements reached with the Dutch government regarding testing requirements.
A few days ago, the flag carrier of Netherlands announced that it would suspend all of its 270-weekly international flights, over fears that new testing requirements introduced in the Netherlands could have resulted in crew being forced to quarantine overseas.
This decision followed the announcement that passengers and crew members would have to show proof of a negative COVID-19 rapid test just before departing.
“After constructive consultations with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), KLM has developed a safe alternative testing protocol for crews leaving the airport in countries that are not on the governmental list of safe countries. This includes an alternative whereby, among other things, the rapid antigen test for this crew will be arranged at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol before departing from and after returning to the Netherlands. In addition, there are local safety guidelines at the destinations. The government has indicated that this protocol meets the requirements.”said KLM in a statement.
Meanwhile, the airline has placed a temporary ban on flights from the United Kingdom, South Africa and South America to the Netherlands as of 23rd January,2021, for up to a month, in line with the government’s effort to curb the spread of more infectious COVID-19 variant. Cargo flights are an exception to this rule.
As stated by the Dutch government, those flying from high-risk areas are required to take antigen tests. This is in addition to the existing PCR test requirements. However, not all airports across the globe have facilities in place for passengers to take antigens tests within 4 hours prior to departure. So, several passengers could face issues if they are planning to fly in. However, KLM shares that it will help customers where possible.
The carrier says that plans towards the limited set of so-called safe countries remain unchanged. Ultimately, it is trying to maintain services while meeting high safety standards.
“Keeping flight operations up and running in a safe and responsible manner is and will remain KLM’s priority, even since the COVID-19 outbreak at the beginning of 2020. This has enabled us to maintain necessary travel, repatriation and the transport of necessary cargo so far,”stated KLM in a press release.
“In addition, KLM has taken numerous measures on board, such as the HEPA filters, mouth masks and adjustment of the service. The safety and health of our customers and employees has the highest priority for KLM. KLM also wants to continue to contribute to the fight against the Covid19 pandemic. To this end, consultation remains necessary about effective and feasible suitable customization for aviation, taking into account international agreements.”
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