Peach to begin implementing post-antigen testing domestic flight trial project

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Peach Aviation is to begin implementing a “post-antigen testing domestic flight trial project” that enables domestic flights to be taken after passing a pre-boarding antigen test. The project will be implemented with the support and cooperation of the Association to Promote the Kansai International Airport Overall Plan, which is comprised of autonomous bodies and economic organizations in Kansai, Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures, SRL Inc and Utsubo Garden Clinic.

Despite domestic leisure demand gradually recovering thanks to the Go To Travel campaign, recovery in trips back to one’s hometown is weak, partially because of concerns about triggering an outbreak of infection, although it is assumed there is a significant need to travel to help with nursing care.

As a result of a survey conducted amongst Kansai residents with connections to the Amami region in Kagoshima Prefecture, about 70% of respondents said that they voluntarily self-banned any return to their hometown last summer out of concern for spreading the coronavirus among local residents, and they also confirmed that they intend to postpone returning to their hometowns if safety cannot be ensured under the reinforced countermeasures against the COVID-19 infection (due to concerns about receiving critical looks at the year-end/New Year holiday period).

In response, Peach is to implement this project on routes that have few alternative means of transport besides flights, although demand to return to one’s hometown is high, prior to the year-end/New Year.

The target period and routes for this project are initially two routes, namely flights serving Miyazaki and Amami from Kansai Airport from Nov 20 to Dec 19. Based on the trial project’s results, we will consider increasing the number of target routes and passengers by inviting additional partner clinics for this project to bolster the number of inspections, and will look into the possibility of development near airports in other regions.

Peach will also proactively call on everyone who requests an antigen test to take all possible measures to minimize the risk of infection before departure after the test, and while traveling without letting down their guard due to the test results in order to realize a safe hometown return without causing new infections.

Special website for New Coronavirus Antigen Test Support Option (Japanese only)

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There is no real point in using the antigen test if the interest is to make sure the passengers are really not infected. It is well known that PCR detection is much more sensitive. If the person has low number of viruses (just beginning the infection for example) it is much more likely the antigen test will result in a false positive when compared with the PCR test.

If the purpose is to "ensure safety" this is not the method that should be used.

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