Etihad to include Covid-19 test in ticket price for flights from Abu Dhabi

Airline will offer testing as part of its fares for UAE customers until the end of the year

A health worker removes a swab test from a test tube at a Covid-19 test center in the 18th arrondissement in Paris, France, on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020. Germany, France and the U.K. are all reporting a surge in Covid-19 cases as Europe strains to control the resurgent pandemic. Photographer: Nathan Laine/Bloomberg

Etihad Airways will include a Covid-19 test in the price of tickets for UAE customers departing from Abu Dhabi until the end of the year.

The national airline will offer all passengers flying out of the UAE capital the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test at Life Medical Diagnostic Centres around the country as part of their airfare.

The test is typically between Dh180 and Dh370 at health clinics and testing centres across the country.

Etihad's offer is not available, however, on flights departing Abu Dhabi for China. Passengers bound for China must organise a PCR test at a Seha facility, with the test taken within 48 hours of departure.

All travellers are currently required to present negative test results in order to board Etihad flights.

The price of PCR testing will be included in all tickets booked by passengers between Thursday, October 1 and Thursday, December 31. Tests can be taken up to 96 hours ahead of a flight's departure time, while First and Business Class passengers have the option to take the test from their own homes.

“This is a significant development which allows Etihad to provide greater ease of travel for those departing from Abu Dhabi, by removing as much inconvenience from the PCR testing process as possible," says Dr Nadia Bastaki, Etihad's vice president of medical services.

"This is one further step in the efforts being made by Etihad to provide a professional, secure and protected travel experience at every stage of their journey with us.”

The Life Medical Diagnostic Centre network has the capacity to handle 40,000 tests a day, according to chief executive Hosam Fouad.

Etihad earlier partnered with Mediclinic Middle East and Seha to offer passengers the option to take PCR tests from home; these can still be used, but do cost a separate fee.

In September, Etihad also introduced free medical cover for Covid-19-related expenses for passengers. The airline introduced complimentary insurance – being offered through AXA – as part of its Etihad Wellness programme. Dubai airline Emirates also offers free Covid-19 related medical cover to its passengers.

Tests can be booked directly with Life Dx. For more information, visit www.etihad.com

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