Delta chief dismisses pandemic travel corridor between New York & London & says other European cities are more open

DELTA Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian shut down an idea for a travel corridor between New York and London amid the ongoing pandemic.

Bastian told Britain's Financial Times that it would be easier to re-launch transatlantic flights to "just about any" other European capitol.

"I think New York-London is complicated, he said. "I think you will find on the continent several countries that are more open."

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been under increasing pressure from business leaders and the aviation industry to re-open the route between London and New York, according to The Daily Mail.

The route was one of the busiest in the world, and was extremely profitable for British air lines.

Under current travel rules implemented due to Covid-19, Americans are permitted to travel to the UK, but must quarantine for two weeks.

People traveling from the UK are not permitted to enter the US in most cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.

Bastian's doubt about re-opening the route comes just days after United Airlines announced a new program offering rapid Covid tests to everyone on board select flights between New York and London.

The first flight in the program took off on Tuesday, and the airline plans to run it through December 11.

The airline converted its United Club in Newark Airport, right outside of New York City, into an onsite testing facility.

"Offered 11/26-12/11 on select flights from New York/Newark-London, this pilot program guarantees all customers over 2 and crew on board test negative before departure," a statement from the air line said.

"We believe the ability to provide fast, same-day Covid-19 testing will play a vital role in safely reopening travel around the world and navigating quarantines and travel restrictions," another statement from the company said.

Bastian also mentioned, in his Financial Times interview, that Delta was considering purchasing Boeing Co’s 737 MAX, which was recently approved to fly again by U.S. regulators.

"We're talking to Boeing about lots of different things, the Max included," Bastian said.

Acquiring any Boeing 737 MAX planes would be a first for Delta.

The company did not carry the aircraft before a nearly two year flight ban after two 737 MAX crashes, which occurred just five months apart in 2018 and 2019, killed 346 people.

After a number of software upgrades and training changes, Boeing was given the OK last week to begin 737 MAX flights again.

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