jetBlue, Aerostar facilitating COVID-19 testing at LMM airport
Puerto Rico’s largest carrier, jetBlue is looking to ramp-up pre-departure and arrival COVID-19 testing at local airports, by relying on at-home options through its partner Vault Health, the airline’s CEO Joanna Geraghty said during a discussion of its quarterly results.
“So, Puerto Rico. We definitely see some constraints with testing in that environment. We’ve actually partnered with Vault Health, which is an at-home option, to try to encourage more customers to use that option in Puerto Rico for travel,” she said.
“I know that Puerto Rico tourism is very encouraged by that. And we are seeing a decent [number] of domestic bookings, given the Centers for Disease Control quarantine coming into the international market. So, we are seeing an uptick in that area,” she said.
In September 2020, jetBlue announced its partnership with Vault Health to make COVID-19 testing widely available to customers with pending travel plans. The at-home saliva test is administered via online video connection through Vault Health, with a test supervisor who ensures the customer is providing their sample properly.
The sample is then overnighted to a laboratory which processes and analyzes the specimen, and results are provided in 72 hours or less.
Meanwhile, Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport’s operator, Aerostar, announced an agreement with laboratory chain CMT Group Corp., to begin offering molecular tests at the airport starting next week.
Results will be ready in 24 to 48 hours, Aerostar CEO Jorge Hernández said.
CMT Group Corp. will set up three test collections centers, initially in Terminals A — which is used by jetBlue — and C. A third site will open during a second phase.
“The trend across different destinations is to require negative tests to allow quarantine-free access to travelers. The aviation industry promotes requiring its travelers to test negative for COVID-19 prior to boarding the plane,” Hernández said.
“For this reason, we’re preparing to provide passengers with an additional alternative for the rapid and molecular tests at the airport with results in less than 48 hours, both for those who enter and those who leave Puerto Rico,” he said.