(11 Dec 2020)
American Airlines, British Airways and oneworld have
teamed up with researchers at the Oxford Internet Institute (OII),
the University of Oxford, to review and analyse survey data from
the COVID19 testing trial recently launched by the airlines.
The project – Trust, Testing and Travel, Technology
Use, Traveller Knowledge and Compliance with COVID19 Health
Rules – involves OII researchers analyzing aggregated, non-personal survey data from air travelers on their behavior and sentiment
toward trial testing.
The airlines and the alliance have created a
taskforce to evaluate the results of the trial. The task force,
comprising oneworld member airline representatives and independent
medical experts, will work with OII, to consider the results and
implications of the survey data from participants in the trial.
Professor Phil Howard, Director of OII, said, “The
University of Oxford is already playing a leading role in the
fight against COVID19 with development of a vaccine. I’m
delighted that researchers at the OII will be working to analyse
and review survey data from this important trial so that we
understand more about the options available for safer air travel.”
Since the trial began on 25 November, more than
500 customers have registered for the trial on select flights
operated by American and British Airways, from the United States
to London Heathrow (LHR).
The trial is being offered on the following
American Airlines flight AA50 departing
Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) to London Heathrow (LHR);
British Airways flight BA114 departing New York
John F. Kennedy (JFK) to LHR;
British Airways flight BA268 departing Los Angeles
(LAX) to LHR;
British Airways flight BA208 departing Miami (MIA)
to LHR; and
British Airways flight BA112 departing JFK to LHR.
The optional trial for each individual passenger
An initial at-home PCR test to be taken 72 hours
before departure from the U.S.;
A second LAMP test will take place upon arrival at
A third PCR test to be taken three days after
arrival in the UK.
The joint trial is offering free
tests to passengers who choose to participate in the program.
The ultimate objective of this trial, and others,
is to validate that a pre-departure test provides a high level of
certainty of a passenger being COVID19 negative, which are hoped
to result in policies that further relax U.S. and UK border
restrictions, including the 14-day quarantine and entry into the
In a joint statement, American, British Airways
and oneworld said, “We are pleased to be working with one of the
world’s leading academic institutions to review the results of our
testing trial passenger survey, which we hope will help provide
governments on both sides of the Atlantic with the evidence they
need to unlock travel and kick-start the global economy. Moving
away from quarantines in favor of comprehensive testing programs
has the potential to markedly boost customer confidence in air
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