Antigen tests on the departure and arrival of passengers at Roissy and Orly airports, which will be in place from October 26, should make it possible to know in 10 minutes whether passengers are positive for Covid-19.
“The improvement of this summer has not been confirmed, the upsurge of the virus, the closure of borders, a deteriorated economic situation have led to a sharp reduction in demand for air transport for the months to come”, writes the profession in a joint statement.
On their own, European companies are losing the trifle of more than 13 billion euros per month. This is unheard of in the history of air transport. At this rate, the big companies, the majors, will very soon have exhausted the state aid supposed to support them during this crisis. Air France-KLM will hold out until next spring, hardly beyond.
The airports are housed in the same boat. The ADP group saw its attendance drop by nearly 75% at Roissy-Charles-de-Gaulle, last month with terminals that remain desperately empty. Tourists are absent, Very few shops are open. The receipts, the landing taxes do not return any more. Today 80% of international traffic has disappeared.
The air filtration systems on board are very efficient and the likelihood of catching the virus in flight is extremely remote. The problem is the borders that remain closed in many countries. And when they are open, no one wants to risk being in quarantine very far from home in the event of contamination.
The solution to relaunch more than a semblance of activity is the establishment in all airports of antigenic tests, rapid tests, carried out just before the flight, and the results of which are known in about ten minutes. Tests carried out systematically, which would allow boarding only negative passengers. They would have the advantage of reassuring the authorities of the countries affected by an upsurge of the virus, and thus avoid quarantines and the risk of contamination.
Faced with the cry of alarm from the profession, Jean Baptiste Djebbari, mMinister Delegate to the Minister of Ecological Transition, in charge of Transport, promised, Friday, October 16, the implementation in French airports of these antigenic tests, on departure and arrival of destinations such as Italy or the United States, by the end of October.
Except that it must be implemented, at a minimum, by all European countries. European countries, which find it difficult to coordinate. However, time is running out. With each passing day, companies, airports and tourism professionals are getting closer to bankruptcy.