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Covid-19: EasyJet wants two antigen tests instead of PCR so flying isn't a "luxury" - news

Covid-19: EasyJet wants two antigen tests instead of PCR so flying isn’t a “luxury” – news

“We cannot turn this recovery into a return to the past, as flying was a luxury only available to those with money,” said Jose Lopez-Lusa. The cost of travel increased by about € 1,000 due to the requirement for a negative PCR test for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, in order to be able to make both round trips.

“This cost is the cost of a week in a hotel, perhaps at this time. […] “We are undoubtedly limiting the ability of many consumers across Europe to be able to spend the holidays, especially families,” the official added.

Jose Lopez pointed to a study by epidemiologists at Yale University in the United States, which showed that two antigen tests, performed three to five days before the flight, offered the same level of protection for general health and efficiency in detection. A possible case of a PCR test is “being too cheaper”.

The official pointed out that this is, in fact, a decision taken by the Portuguese government for other countries in the European Union, under the Portuguese presidency of the Council of the European Union, but it has not done the same thing yet “inside the doors”.

EasyJet also considers it “important” that the same rules that were adopted in Madeira apply to mainland Portugal, as no negative test is required for anyone who has already been vaccinated against the Coronavirus.

“It is very important for us, as a country that depends on tourism, where the percentage of GDP that depends on tourism is very high, that we take measures to take advantage of this advantage that we have compared to other countries,” so Jose Lopez emphasized that summer is still “something. Positive for the national economy. “

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In April, May and June, easyJet will operate at around 15% of its normal capacity worldwide, although in Portugal it is “much more”.

“In May, we are already operating with just over a third of our normal capacity and we expect, next month, to turn on about 58% of our normal capacity,” the official said.

EasyJet will open a new base in Algarve, with three aircraft and 100 additional positions.

The first aircraft operations will begin on June 1, and the official opening will be on the 15th.

Today, easyJet announced a pre-tax loss of 747 million euros (645 million pounds) in the first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, compared to a loss of 409 million euros for the same period in 2020.

The British low-cost airline said the results were “in line with expectations”, taking into account travel restrictions due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The compensation for the no-fly zone may be more comprehensive

The director of easyJet in Portugal, Jose Lopes, said today that state compensation for the flight ban could include more airlines, and that the carrier, “in principle”, is not against state aid.

“We believe that there are some measures – within the framework of so-called European state aid policies – that could be more comprehensive, and that is the compensation that states can provide to airline escorts, for example, for a flight ban,” Jose Lopes Lusa said. .

In response to a question about state support for TAP and the decision of the European Union (EU) Court of Justice to annul the European Commission’s decision to approve the € 1,200 million state aid to the airline TAP, considering it “insufficiently justified” and the official said EasyJet does not oppose. In principle state assistance. “

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It is a procedure used in emergency and disaster situations. […] He now indicated that this government aid should be given in a fair way, with equal access to all, and basically, in a way that does not distort the market.

The easyJet director said that there are, however, some important details, such as the restructuring associated with state support, which restores the market equilibrium and allows those who did not receive the same support “also to have market opportunities, to be able to grow and not only be harmed by the tilting of the scale into Only one side. “

But right now, we are going through an abnormal state. “The state aid ends up in an understandable framework,” he added.