Italy's Neos Airlines launches so-called "coronavirus-free
Time: 11:11: Dec-02, 20     Author :  
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What is being hailed as the first "coronavirus-free" direct passenger air link between Italy and China will depart from Milan's Malpensa Airport on Thursday, airport officials said Wednesday.

Neos, a Milan-based discount air carrier, operates a weekly flight between Milan and Nanjing, the capital of eastern China's Jiangsu province. Starting Thursday, the connection will be classified as "coronavirus-free" because officials will carry out a rapid coronavirus test that will produce results within 30 minutes, they said.

The test is in addition to Malpensa Airport health rules already in place, including the negative result from a coronavirus swab and serological test carried out within 48 hours of the flight's departure.

The Milan-Nanjing air link is the product of collaboration between Neos and airport operator SEA Aeroporti di Milano, with Milan's San Donato Hospital providing the health screening.

Officials from SEA Aeroporti di Milano and Neos confirmed the flight and health information Wednesday when contacted by Xinhua.

According to the Neos website, the 19-year-old company has a fleet of ten aircraft. All are active despite coronavirus flight restrictions. In addition to the new flight to Nanjing, the company also offers passenger charter service to Dakar and Bamako in Africa, as well as cargo service between Italy and China.

The passenger link to China uses a 359-seat Boeing 787, with a cap of 75-percent of the seats being used to allow for social distancing. According to the company's website, the minimum cost for a ticket is 2,890 euros (3,427 U.S. dollars). 

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