Virgin Atlantic trials pre-flight Covid-19 testing for crew using FRANKD with Yoti

profile picture Amy Colville 4 min read

We’re excited to share the news that Virgin Atlantic is the first UK airline to introduce Covid-19 pre-flight testing for its cabin crew and pilots. Britain’s Global Five Star Airline has begun trialing our FRANKD with Yoti Covid-19 testing solution on flights to Shanghai and Hong Kong, with the introduction of Barbados and additional flights planned later in the month. The aim is a wider roll out to test every operating crew at least once per month. 


Rapid testing using FRANKD with Yoti

This move follows Heathrow Airport trials in August using FRANKD, which is a gold standard rapid Point of Care Covid-19 RT-LAMP test that brings 100% specificity and 97% sensitivity. 

FRANKD’s integration with Yoti’s platform ensures a fast, secure and paperless system. People scan a unique QR code on their FRANKD test bag to add their identity to the test. After a testing swab is taken, results are processed and delivered straight to the individuals’ Yoti app within 30 minutes. From here, it’s securely encrypted and stored in a convenient place on their phone, easily shared online and in person with a tap of a button.

Virgin Atlantic drive innovation in Covid-19 testing

Corneel Koster, Chief Customer and Operating Officer, Virgin Atlantic commented: “The introduction of pre-flight Covid-19 testing for our crew and pilots ensures we remain at the forefront of the aviation industry’s safe return to the skies. As testing technology and Covid-19 requirements around the world develop, we want to utilise technology that is relevant, accurate and available to keep our teams and customers healthy and safe. While the Covid-19 testing landscape evolves, we continue to be in discussions with multiple providers offering different technologies to guarantee the best solution possible, while absolutely ensuring that we do not compete with the NHS for resources.

“This trial is a first step in our phased plan for testing all of our teams in the air and on the ground, and when feasible our customers, in order to instil confidence in flying. However, we continue to call for the introduction of a wider coordinated passenger testing regime. We need urgent action from UK Government to introduce testing so that travel restrictions can be relaxed in confidence as soon as possible, while protecting public health. As long as the UK’s 14 day quarantine is in place, demand for travel will not return and the UK’s economic recovery cannot take off.” 

“Although our aim is to create a pre-departure testing regime through government and industry trials, the Government’s own evidence supports a test after five days, which should be introduced immediately. Virgin Atlantic and its industry partners, such as Heathrow and Manchester airports, and various testing providers, are ready to work with the Government to make this happen.”


Yoti is a global identity solution that supports seamless travel experiences

Digital anti-fraud measures are built into our reusable ID app, making it a modern solution that combats fakes and the risk of fraud with a lost traditional ID document. Yoti is available in 6 languages, accepts passports and photo IDs from over 195 countries, making it a global identity solution. 

Yoti CEO Robin Tombs said, “I’m proud to see the team’s hard work on FRANKD with Yoti help Virgin Atlantic to protect their crew and customers in creating safer flying spaces. The accuracy and speed of FRANKD, backed by Yoti technology, makes the process secure, simple and protects people’s privacy. This combination is a game-changer for rapid testing. It can be applied to many walks of life and helps business and society protect the vulnerable while enabling others to protect the economy.”