The first coronavirus-free transatlantic flight is scheduled to land at Heathrow on Tuesday morning amid pressure to reopen the busy business route.
A new pilot scheme by US carrier United Airlines (UAL) has raised the hopes that ministers will give the go-ahead to a crucial travel corridor between London and New York.
As part of the month-long scheme, the carrier will guarantee that all passengers do not have the COVID-19 virus. Findings will be shared with officials in the UK and US once the four-week trial is up.
The United trial will be free for all passengers over the age of two and rapid testing will take place at New York’s Newark airport. UK airlines are working with Heathrow on their own COVID-free pilot.
The US is considered a “red country” by the UK government. At the moment, Americans must quarantine for 14 days when traveling to the UK as the US.
The hope is that by sharing the results of the trial, governments on both sides of the Atlantic give the travel corridor the green light.
If the trial is successful it could allow the London to New York routes — one of the world’s busiest and most profitable routes for the likes of British Airways and Virgin Atlantic — to reopen.
The routes are heavily used by executives and dealmakers and provide an important business services link.