Airlines call for testing to restore transatlantic travel

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Major airlines are urging the U.S. and the European Union to quickly restore transatlantic air travel by deploying a joint COVID-19 testing program.

The CEOs of United, American Airlines, IAG and Lufthansa Group wrote Tuesday that “given the unquestioned importance of transatlantic air travel to the global economy as well as to the economic recovery of our businesses, we believe it is critical to find a way to reopen air services between the U.S. and Europe.”

They said that a testing program for the transatlantic market “could be an excellent opportunity for government and industry to work together” and “safely restore passenger travel between the U.S. and Europe.”

The letter was addressed “with urgency” to U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and to Ylva Johansson, the European commissioner for home affairs.

The signers were Scott Kirby for United, Carsten Spohr for Lufthansa, Doug Parker for American, and Willie Walsh at IAG, which owns British Airways and Iberia.

More From

  • Verstappen storms to unlikely victory over Mercedes duo

    Max Verstappen sprung what could be the surprise of the Formula One season by beating Lewis Hamilton to win the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Sunday. The Red Bull driver crossed the line at Silverstone 11.3 seconds clear of Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas third. ''I didn't see it coming but after the first stint it seemed we were really good on tires,'' Verstappen said after his ninth career win.

  • Former Colts receiver Chester Rogers signs with Dolphins

    MIAMI (AP) -- Wide receiver Chester Rogers signed with the Miami Dolphins, providing a reinforcement at a position where two players earlier opted out for the season.

  • Mercury-Wings Preview

    The Phoenix Mercury got good news regarding star veteran Diana Taurasi, but it is unknown if she will be available for Monday night's matchup with the Dallas Wings. Taurasi left during the fourth quarter of Saturday's 74-68 loss to the Seattle Storm, favoring her side after attempting to drive to the basket. The 38-year-old underwent an MRI on her lower back and oblique area, but the team announced there was no structural damage and "that this injury is not related to Taurasi's 2019 back surgery."

  • Virtual preparation allows Miss Nicaragua amid pandemic

    For four months, everything was virtual: the modeling and speech classes, the make-up courses and the emotional support session via videoconference. “We managed to organize the event under the pandemic with masks, social distancing and little money, (but) with talent and creativity,” said Karen Celebertti, who has been running the pageant for two decades in Nicaragua. On Saturday night, 23-year-old Ana Marcelo, an agroindustrial engineer from Estelí, was crowned Miss Nicaragua in front of a limited audience (two people per contestant spaced safely) plus a production crew of 85.