Delta partners with CVS to accelerate COVID-19 testing

Delta Air Lines CEO sees pent-up demand for travel, plans to extend ‘middle seat’ policy amid COVID pandemic

We want consumers to feel as confident in their flight safety as they do in their personal safety, Ed Bastian, CEO of Delta Air Lines, tells Liz Claman during an exclusive interview on ‘The Claman Countdown.’

Delta Airlines announced Tuesday a partnership with CVS Health to speed up employee COVID-19 testing that the company said would “build confidence about traveling” for its customers.

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The airline announced in a statement that a “rapid-response nasal swab test” will offer employees another option so “that a baseline understanding of the infection can be established across Delta.”

Joanne Smith, Delta’s executive vice president, said in the statement that there is no “single method” to reduce the transmission of the virus and pointed out that the airline’s workforce is “always on the move,” but she called the partnership with CVS a “convenient and reliable option to our people.”

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Surveys indicate that instead of growing comfortable with air travel, more people are becoming skeptical about it. In the United States, airline bookings have stalled in the past month after slowly rising — a reaction to a new surge of reported virus infections.

Globally, air travel is down more than 85% from a year ago, according to industry figures.

The four largest U.S. airlines lost a combined $10 billion from April through June. Their CEOs say they will survive, but they have lowered their expectations for a rebound.

Delta said the CVS Health 'Return Ready' testing will be be overseen by a clinician at Delta hub crew lounges and can determine if the virus is active within 15 minutes of administering the test.

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