MedAire, the world’s leading provider of in-flight medical advice and assistance to commercial airlines – announced the launch of new pre-flight COVID-19 passenger screening services to enhance safety measures for air travel.
MedAire is the first and foremost experienced provider of medical advisory services to more than 150 airlines worldwide. For more than 35 years, MedAire has helped airlines manage passenger medical issues – both in the air and at the gate. The company is expanding their existing solutions to now include COVID-19 health screening.
This new service complements a well-proven medical advisory process the company already has in place with airlines to help manage passenger medical issues; including pre-flight fitness to fly assessments, ground based medical assistance for in-flight medical issues and cabin crew medical training. The new screening service is an additional step to help mitigate the transmission of COVID-19 via air travel and help restore confidence in flying, for air travel today and in the future.
The screening is conducted by on-site medical professionals prior to check-in at the origin city, and consists of a questionnaire for contact history, and symptom screening including temperature. This screening approach is considered the industry best practice today, and will evolve as additional options to screen, test or vaccinate become available. MedAire is working with airline partners in a phased approach to develop solutions and, to date, the company has implemented screening programmes in locations including London, Lima, Hong Kong and Los Angeles.
While passenger screening services are not universally required today, some airlines are beginning to implement such programmes. This practice is evolving as a precautionary measure to protect passenger safety, as much as to screen travellers prior to entry at their destination, as a requirement of the receiving country.
“Screening is what the industry will need to do now to make people feel safe to travel again until a vaccine is available,” said Dr. Paulo Alves, Global Medical Director Aviation Health at MedAire. “The situation is rapidly evolving, and the screening criteria may change as we learn more about the virus and when new testing options become available that can help quickly determine who is safe to travel. We are working closely with the governmental health agencies of individual countries and are aligned with guidelines from multiple agencies including the WHO, CDC, IATA and the FAA, as well as our airline partners, to help develop and implement best practice solutions with the goal to ensure the safety of passengers and crew when flying.”
“MedAire has the unique aviation medical expertise, as well as longstanding industry partnerships that position us well to play a significant role in the fight against COVID-19 and other emerging pandemic threats, with the goal to help people safely return to travel,” said Bill Dolny, CEO of MedAire. “Health screening, like security screening post 9-11, is likely to become the standard for air travel. MedAire is ready to support the air travel industry with solutions as their needs evolve.”
MedAire, an International SOS company, has a global footprint and access to a worldwide network of medical providers & resources, enabling access to trained medical staff for on-location screening that complements their existing well-proven solutions. The screening process has been developed in line with IATA best practices, can easily adapt to an airline’s protocols, and considers evolving travel restrictions at specific origin and destination locations.