Heathrow introduces rapid Covid tests, IAG shares rise

Heathrow passenger numbers fall

Heathrow is now offering rapid Covid-19 testing for passengers flying from London to Hong Kong and Italy.

Tests available at the airport will cost £80 and results will be made available within the hour and will be offered by British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, and Cathay Pacific.

“Many other countries are already using testing to keep their borders safe while restarting trade and travel,” said John Holland-Kaye, the chief executive of Heathrow airport.

“These facilities will make it easier for passengers going to those countries to get a test and have the potential to provide a service for arriving passengers,” he added.

For tests will be for passengers flying to Honk Kong, where authorities require arrivals to have a negative result 72 hours before flying.

Chief executive of the aviation trade body Airlines UK, Tim Alderslade, welcomed the rapid tests but said the cost can still be dropped.

“For business passengers £80 is probably quite competitive but we’ve certainly said to the government in terms of introducing a test on arrival in the UK anything from £50-£60 would be better.”

The rapid-test is known as a Lamp (Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification) test and is quicker than the tests carried out by the NHS.

Passengers who are hoping to book a flight must book it online with Collinson before arriving at the airport.

David Evans, the Collinson joint chief executive, said: “With countries around the world adding the UK to their list of ‘high risk’ countries, we need to find a way to work with governments, leading travel brands and other commercial entities to safely open up travel out of the UK.”

The tests are currently just for passengers who are departing from Heathrow and not for those landing in London.

On the news, IAG shares (LON: IAG) surged 5% to 104,90 (1241GMT).