Starting this week, two Alitalia flights every day from Rome's Fiumicino airport to Milan's Linate airport will be strictly reserved for passengers who have tested negative for Covid-19 in the past 72 hours. The experiment will continue for one month.
Those passengers who have not been tested before the day of their flight will be able to undergo rapid screening at the airport's health centre, with results guaranteed in less than 30 minutes. The centre can accommodate up to 480 passengers, all respecting social distancing rules.
Passengers arriving at the airport from Rome or other parts of Italy can also use the drive-in facility at the Long-Stay car park at Fiumicino airport which has been active since 31 August. The drive-in which is open 7 days a week, can accommodate up to 130 cars. Passengers wanting to take a Covid test are advised to arrive at the airport in good time.
The two Alitalia services offering these conditions to passengers to Milan Linate are flight AZ 2038, departing Rome every day at 13.30, and flight AZ 2092, departing Monday to Friday at 17.30 from Rome.
High level of passenger satisfaction
Passengers who took the test before boarding their flight expressed satisfaction at the initiative, saying they had received their results quickly via a message on their phone and they were pleased to be flying without fear that they would be infected on board.
The preventive screening initiative is being described as a first step to reduce passenger anxiety for air travellers. It was launched as a collaboration between Italy's flagship airline Alitalia along with Aeroporti di Roma and the Lazio Region with the aim of strengthening travellers' confidence in flying and relaunching the air traffic sector.
Rome's Fiumicino airport has already been offering rapid testing to passengers arriving from Croatia, Greece, Malta and Spain. Authorities have said they hope the model and testing procedures will be extended to other international or intercontinental flights in the future. Aeroporti di Roma CEO, Marco Troncone, said the hope is to create corridors for clean flights that will allow passengers to arrive in Italy without having to spend 14-day in quarantine.
Rome aims for highest safety standards
The Italian capital's major airport has also adopted high safety standards which include frequent sanitising activities, the rearrangement of internal areas to guarantee social distancing, installation of sanitising gel dispensers and thermo scanners.
Fiumicino's high standard of airport cleanliness, hygiene, maintenance and efficiency in response to the coronavirus pandemic has led to the award of the "Covid-19 5-Star Airport Rating", from Skytrax, the main rating and assessment company in the international airport sector.