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KLM to continue operating long-haul flights after reaching crew testing deal

Jan. 25, 2021
3 min read
KLM to continue operating long-haul flights after reaching crew testing deal
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Editor's Note

/strong> This story has been updated with the latest information.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the latest information.

Dutch carrier KLM has announced it will be able to continue operating long-haul flights, following an agreement with the government on a revised COVID-19 protocol for crew.

Previously, KLM said that it planned to stop operating hundreds of flights to and from the Netherlands after the government announced strict new pre-departure testing rules that require passengers to take a PCR test within 72 hours of departure and a second rapid antigen test within four hours of departure. The rules apply to travelers from all high-risk destinations and, controversially, included crew.

Subsequently, the airline feared that its crew members may be stranded abroad if they tested positive for coronavirus.

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(Photo by M&M/Getty Images)

However, KLM said it has come to an agreement with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment that crew will be tested at Schipol Airport before leaving and when returning to the country.

"After constructive consultations with the Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), KLM has developed a safe alternative testing protocol for crews," the airline said in a statement.

“This includes an alternative whereby, among other things, the rapid antigen test for this crew will be arranged at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol before departing from and after returning to the Netherlands. In addition, there are local safety guidelines at the destinations. The government has indicated that this protocol meets the requirements.”

As of time of publication, FlightRadar24 data showed dozens of KLM aircraft in the skies — many of which flying to long-haul destinations.

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(Image courtesy of FlightRadar24)

However, the Netherlands is maintaining its restrictions on individual nations. The U.K., South Africa and all of South America are banned from flying into the Netherlands as of Jan. 23.

“This is a very tough measure, but we are at a crossroads," Netherlands Prime Minister Mark Rutte said. "The British variant doesn’t leave us with an alternative.”

The country has also implemented a strict curfew from 8:30 p.m. to 4:30 a.m. each day. Those breaching the curfew could be fined 95 euro ($115).

On Dec. 29, the Dutch government announced that anyone entering the country from another Member State of the EU or Schengen Zone must first prove that they tested negative for COVID-19.

So far, there have been an estimated 13,500 coronavirus deaths in the Netherlands.

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

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  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
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  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023