Chairman’s Note: Easing Restrictions ≠ The End Of All PCR and Other Requirements
Dear Friends and Colleagues
As we leverage our Universal resources and network of experts around the world to bring clarity to where we are on Covid and the ongoing requirements for testing, we are confident that “Easing Restrictions Does Not Equal ≠ The End Of All PCR and Other Requirements.”
Based on customer trip bookings and movements to high-demand destinations, we may very well see a record-setting 2021-2022 summer travel season, potentially exceeding pre-pandemic traffic numbers. Additionally, we are seeing significant operator interest for travel to Asia-Pacific locations slated to reopen for the first time since the pandemic’s start, where testing remains the key to entry.
This is all great news for our industry!
How PCR testing still fits into international travel restrictions
While there is hope that the current easing continues, PCR testing will continue to impact international travel, particularly in the Middle East and APAC. New outbreaks or variants will also likely result in the return of enhanced testing measures in countries with recent testing rollbacks.
Many countries also now have vaccine validity windows and booster requirements. In the event a passenger’s vaccination status lapses, Plan B will be to default to PCR testing for entry.
Mitigating risk and taking control with on-aircraft COVID testing
For the foreseeable future, the absolute best way to ensure operational flexibility and reduce your risk is to plan ahead, lock in services early, and prepare for the unforeseen by having every available tool in your COVID ops arsenal at your disposal, including the on-aircraft COVID testing program we developed with our partner Cedars Health, an expert in mobile laboratory services.
Even as some testing requirements have eased, this service has continued to show its value by eliminating testing challenges and, in many cases, saving missions.
As I mentioned a few months ago, accessing a trusted testing center overseas throws an additional layer of complexity and risk onto every itinerary.
It’s an excellent insurance policy to have in your back pocket to avoid any delays due to last-minute testing changes, worrying about making arrangements to safely access the lab, or having a provider come to you. Not to mention sharing your personal information with unknown parties.
Since we first rolled out the service for over 1,500 locations worldwide, we’ve trained more than 100 crew members and supported 30+ flight departments operating multiple N-registered aircraft. Although testing can be executed last-minute or even in flight, Cedars’ customers will typically run tests maximizing the time published for testing to be completed for a destination country. In most cases, testing can be undertaken 72 to 48 hours prior to arrival. Our users have said that the service pays for itself even after one use because of the time savings and peace of mind it offers.
On-aircraft COVID testing will make your international missions easier, improve your operating flexibility, reduce your risks, and provide an overall more comfortable experience for your passengers.
Looking forward to supporting your next mission!
Thanks for your Trust and Confidence in Universal and all our Teams on the ground around the world!