Etihad includes COVID-19 tests in all tickets from Abu Dhabi

Flyers can now book test appointments online at their convenience

  
The first flight from Etihad Airways arrives in Sydney and marks the opening of the airline's new non-stop route between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, at Sydney airport on March 27, 2007 in Australia. Image for illustrative purposes.

The first flight from Etihad Airways arrives in Sydney and marks the opening of the airline's new non-stop route between Abu Dhabi and Sydney, at Sydney airport on March 27, 2007 in Australia. Image for illustrative purposes.

Getty Images/Patrick Riviere

Passengers flying with Etihad will no longer have to worry about booking their own COVID-19 tests prior to departure.

The Abu Dhabi-based carrier announced on Thursday that effective today (October 1), PCR tests will be included in all tickets for travellers taking off from Abu Dhabi International, with the exception of those bound to China.

The tests can be booked online and will be administered by Life Medical Diagnostic Centre (Life Dx) prior to the flight, at its facilities across the country. First or Business class flyers, however, have the option to take the tests at their residence.

“The airline is collaborating with Life Dx to offer convenient testing between 48 to 96 hours prior to departure, at its network of collection facilities in the UAE,” the carrier said in a statement.

However, passengers who still prefer to book their tests separately can do so, but they will have to pay for it.

“For those who wish to book their tests separately, Etihad is also collaborating with SEHA and Mediclinic Middle East to offer departing travellers the option or convenient PCR testing, for a fee, at their home or at selected facilities in the UAE prior to their travel,” the airline said.

Ease of travel

According to Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Etihad Aviation Group vice president for medical services, the new arrangement allows the airline to provide “greater ease of travel” for flyers departing from Abu Dhabi, citing that it removes “as much inconvenience from the PCR testing process.”

“This follows on perfectly from the recent introduction of complimentary COVID-19 insurance cover on all Etihad Airways tickets.

Life Dx has the capacity of 40,000 tests a day through its fully automated robotic systems. It has also partnered with selected healthcare providers across the UAE to create a wide network of sample collection centres, according to Hosam Fouad, founder and CEO of Life Dx.

“Now, passengers can book their appointments online easily at their most convenient location and time before their flight,” added Fouad.

Etihad also clarified that passengers bound to China should still take their tests through SEHA testing facilities. They must show a negative COVID-19 PCR test result from a government-approved testing facility within 48 hours prior to departure, for approval to board the aircraft.

For all other travellers leaving the UAE from Abu Dhabi, a negative COVID-19 PCR test result will be required within 96 hours prior to departure. Those travelling to Morocco will also require an lg antibody test,” the airline added.

(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Seban Scaria)

Cleofe.maceda@refinitiv.com

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