Last week, joint business partners American Airlines and British Airways announced a collaboration with American Express Global Business Travel (GBT) and global COVID-19 testing provider Qured to offer complimentary test kits to support the swift return of international business travel. Business travelers who book premium seats on American or British Airways between the United States and the United Kingdom, departing from either country, through GBT will be eligible to receive the kits*.
“Strong business relationships are built in person. We’re eager to help corporate travelers get back in the air to build those connections and keep the global economy moving,” said Kyle Mabry, Vice President of Global Sales for American Airlines. “Our industry had to link arms to move through the pandemic. Together, with our valued partners, we will support the return of business travel by creating more ease for customers than ever before.”
Routes between the United States and the United Kingdom are incredibly important to business travel. In 2019, GBT booked hundreds of thousands of air segments between the United Kingdom and the United States. As international travel has reopened, these flights have been increasingly popular for both American Airlines and British Airways.
“Ensuring corporate travelers have access to efficient, accurate testing is one of the key components to ramping up business travel across the trans-Atlantic corridor,” said Mark Muren, Head of Global Sales at British Airways. “We’re eager to give our mutual customers peace of mind that they will have what they need to fulfill an important requirement as they return to conducting business.”
Since the United States announced the reopening of international travel, transatlantic bookings with GBT have increased more than 70%.
“Corporate travel managers know that there’s incredible pent-up demand for business travel but coordinating the logistics of testing can sometimes be a challenge, especially for trips booked close to departure,” said Andrew Crawley, Chief Commercial Officer at GBT. “By providing every premium customer traveling for business on a flight ticketed with American Airlines or British Airways with access to a test kit as part of the travel booking, we’re streamlining one critical step to making sure today’s business leaders can return to the skies and conduct their important work face to face.”
For the last several months, American Airlines and British Airways have helped customers easily access reliable COVID-19 test kits through Qured, a global provider of antigen tests approved by both the U.K. and U.S. governments. To connect premium customers with access to complimentary COVID-19 testing kits, GBT will provide qualified travelers with a unique promotional code after travel is ticketed. Travelers will use the code to order from the Qured website, and kits will be delivered to the traveler at the location(s) specified based on their itinerary. Eligible customers can begin ordering testing kits in 2022 for travel through the end of the year. Travelers can easily complete the test remotely through a supervised video call scheduled with and administered by a professional health advisor.
“We’ve helped more than half a million customers confidently return to international travel over the course of the pandemic, with a majority of those travelers enjoying flights with American Airlines and British Airways,” said Alex Templeton, Chief Executive Officer at Qured, “We’re inspired to be part of reopening international business travel and to be helping people reconnect around the world.”
Results from Qured test kits are ready within 20 minutes of swabbing, and electronic verified results are shared with the patient 2 hours after their remote consultation. The customer can download a “fit to fly” certificate if the test is negative, which can be shown at the airport during check-in or uploaded through VeriFLY, the app by mobile health provider Daon, for easy travel. More than 3 million customers have used the app for travel with American Airlines and British Airways.
*Complimentary test kit distribution is based on U.S. and U.K. travel guidance as of Nov. 12, 2021. COVID-19 test kits are available while supplies last.
Up to 45 peak daily flight options
American currently operates 11 daily flights between the United States and the United Kingdom, including two daily flights from New York (JFK) to London (LHR). The number of international point-of-sale customers traveling in recent weeks following the easing of U.S. entry restrictions is significantly higher than in the weeks prior. Throughout November, American will operate more than 200 daily flights on nearly 200 routes to international destinations with those numbers climbing to nearly 300 daily international flights at the beginning of 2022.
British Airways currently operates up to 34 daily flights between the United Kingdom and United States, including seven flights from London (LHR) to New York. From January 2022, the airline plans to operate 246 flights a week to the United States from London.