Air Canada looking to explore rapid coronavirus testing

Jul 8 2020, 12:29 pm

Air Canada is exploring the use of a new form of COVID-19-testing technology to use in the aviation sector.

Air Canada announced on Wednesday it is engaging with Spartan Bioscience Inc., an Ottawa-based biotechnology leader in portable DNA testing technology, to assess how to deploy portable testing tech going forward.

“Air Canada’s strategy for managing COVID-19 has been to develop and apply multiple layers of biosafety measures for customers and employees,” says Samuel Elfassy, Vice President, Safety, Air Canada. “We believe the availability of a rapid, accurate, portable molecular test for COVID-19 will add yet another effective layer. We are excited by the potential and point of care use cases for the Spartan Cube, and look forward to working with the Spartan team in the weeks and months ahead.”

Air Canada was among the first airline carriers to require face coverings onboard and was the first airline in the continent to take customers’ temperatures before boarding.

In May the airline introduced a program, Air Canada CleanCare+, to apply biosafety measures at each stage of the customer’s journey. Air Canada says it has committed to “adding other processes and technologies as they become available,” which is why the company is pleased to be working with Spartan Bioscience.

Spartan Bioscience is developing a proprietary swab for the collection of DNA samples for its COVID-19 testing.

Spartan’s test cartridge (reagents) and the Spartan Cube (portable DNA analyzer device) remain subject to Health Canada approval.

Tyler JadahTyler Jadah

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