Delta CEO On Board With ‘Immunity Passports’

Ticket.

Passport.

Boarding pass.

Immunity passport?

Airlines are looking at the idea of having fliers present documentation that they are free of the coronavirus when they travel, and Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian is on board with the idea if it means it creates another layer of security for fellow passengers.

“We will make whatever changes to the business model that will be necessary,” Bastian said on Delta’s earnings call on Wednesday. “If it turns out immunity passports will be a new form… You think about everything that came out of 9/11 with TSA and homeland security and new public agencies. Could there be a new public health agency coming out that requires a new passport to travel? We’ll be on the forefront of all those advances.”

Airlines, cruise ships, trains and hotels will be making all kinds of adjustments in the wake of the global pandemic when things begin to settle and travel picks up again. Already airlines have said they will continue with the deep cleaning and sanitizing of planes, and many are also eliminating the middle seat in order to maintain a semblance of social distancing.

Bastian said if an immunity passport helps other passengers feel more at ease with their fellow fliers, so be it.

“It’s going to be confidence in their safety, their personal safety, not just their physical safety,” he said.

In fact, Chile has already issued immunity passports to people who have recovered from the virus while other countries and airlines are considering administering immediate blood tests to passengers or taking their temperature prior to boarding.

But the World Health Organization said this morning that there’s no evidence that people who have recovered from COVID-19 are subsequently immune to the disease, and pooh-pooh’d the idea of an immunity passport.

“As of April 24 2020, no study has evaluated whether the presence of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 confers immunity to subsequent infection by this virus in humans,” WHO said during a scientific briefing.

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