By Wallace Mawire
Ethiopian Airlines Group, has joined hands with BGI Health Ethiopia, a subsidiary of China’s biotech giant, the BGI Genomics Co. Ltd to launch high-end COVID-19 testing laboratory at its main hub and the continent’s busiest airport, Addis Ababa Bole International Airport.
It is reported that the testing center has been opened to revitalize the passengers’ business by creating seamless travel experience that includes COVID-19 testing to passengers that are departing or transiting via Addis Ababa.
It is also added that the state-of-the-art COVID-19 testing lab is equipped with cutting-edge technologies to provide quick and accurate testing for passengers.
Currently, the lab is reported to have a capacity to carry out 1000 COVID-19 tests a day with a potential to grow further after expansion.
It is added that regular test results can be obtained within three hours, leading to a convenient travel arrangement by reducing waiting time for testing and result collection.
Ethiopian Airports CEO Mr. Eskinder Alemu said “We introduced the testing lab inside our hub at Addis Ababa with a view to address our customers’ challenges in travel and revive the passenger service. Originating or transit passengers will no longer have to look for testing centers in the city and wait in lines for COVID- 19 testing. The lab at the airport eliminates the hassle for testing and brings convenience and helps restore passengers’ confidence in travel. The facility is the outcome of the excellent partnership between Ethiopia’s flag carrier and the BGI Health Ethiopia towards ensuring the safety of passengers in line with all international requirements. We will continue to adapt our operations to the new normal so as to ensure customers’ safe travel with Ethiopian. “
It is also added that further to significantly reducing the time and energy spent for testing, the launch of the testing center at the airport is expected to elevate Ethiopian customer service and consolidate the airlines’ safety measures at the airport and on-board.
It is reported that timeliness of COVID-19 test results has been an issue of concern for passengers who wish to transit or extend their stay in Ethiopia and the provision of testing at the airport simplifies customers journey with Ethiopian.
The laboratory is reported to performs RT-PCR and IgM antibody tests for COVID-19 to departing, arriving and transit passengers with high level of efficiency in delivering the results.
“As a result, Ethiopian hopes to see a revival of passenger traffic following the move,”a spokesperson said.