The UK’s Virgin Atlantic airline is now using Yoti and the FRANKD solution to test pilots and cabin crew for COVID-19. The partnership began with a trial run on Virgin Atlantic flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong, and will expand to cover flights to Barbados and other locations later in the month. After that, the airline will gradually increase its capacity to make sure that it tests every member of its flight crews at least once a month.
The announcement comes shortly after Heathrow Airport conducted its own two-week trial of the FRANKD system. Developed by GeneMe, FRANKD is a RT-LAMP test that generates results in less than 30 minutes to enable efficient COVID-19 testing at scale. Those results are then linked to Yoti’s digital identity app, which allows users to share the results without disclosing any other personal information.
After downloading the Yoti app, individuals can use their mobile devices to scan the QR code on their FRANKD test. The results will then be sent directly to the app once the test is complete.
“This trial is a first step in our phased plan for testing all of our teams in the air and on the ground, and when feasible our customers, in order to instill confidence in flying,” said Virgin Atlantic Chief Customer and Operating Officer Corneel Koster. “However, we continue to call for the introduction of a wider coordinated passenger testing regime. As long as the UK’s 14 day quarantine is in place, demand for travel will not return and the UK’s economic recovery cannot take off.”
Koster went on to advocate for the creation of a large-scale government testing program that would test people five days after returning to the country. Assuming that the result is negative, it would allow people to leave quarantine after five days instead of the currently mandated 14, and could potentially make international travel far more appealing for tourists.
The Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre is also using the FRANKD and Yoti system to test the cast and crew before each performance of Sleepless, A Musical Romance.
October 5, 2020 – by Eric Weiss