Airport testing would have prevented Zante flight fiasco, aviation analyst insists

31 August 2020, 17:10 | Updated: 31 August 2020, 17:13

By Seán Hickey

This analyst made the case that if the UK had mandatory Covid-19 testing in airports, the furore surrounding a TUI flight from Zante wouldn't have happened.

As authorities in Wales scramble to trace and test passengers of a TUI flight where passengers were found to have coronavirus, Tom Swarbrick wondered "what more airports and airlines can do to start making sure people boarding planes aren't Covid positive."

Spokesperson for the 'Quash Quarantine' campaign Paul Charles began by stating that "everyone on board has been really good at keeping their masks on" on recent flights he's taken.

"What it shows it that the delay is unacceptable to tracing people after they've left the airport.

If we had airport testing in place in this country like thirty other countries in the world do, then the passengers of that TUI flight would have been tested immediately, they could have then gone into quarantine for just five days and then they could have been tested again for a second time and that would have caught a majority if not all the cases from Zante."

The aviation analyst was baffled that "they're taking nearly a week to contact everybody and to test them," insisting this takes far too long.

The aviation analyst argued that people would have no issue with paying for coronavirus testing
The aviation analyst argued that people would have no issue with paying for coronavirus testing. Picture: PA

Tom asked if cases like this show that "health security at airports now needs to be taken very seriously."

Mr Charles agreed, going further to say it "needs to be a priority at airports especially if we're to learn to live with coronavirus."

"We need to invest more in our airports both for departing and arriving passengers," he said with the belief that it would "reassure people and boost confidence" in the safety of the aviation industry.

When Tom pushed him on whether or not testing at airports should be mandatory, Mr Charles posited that if it meant "you could travel freely in safety," many people would have no issue with even paying for the testing themselves.

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